View Poll Results: Preferred day to start the discussion of an issue

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  • Saturday

    2 100.00%
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  1. #121
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    ”Wonder Woman Goes to the Circus”, and we will get a tale of money, power, sex, and elephants! Feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on this story! Next Saturday, 13 April, we will continue with ”Wonder Woman Versus the Prison Spy Ring”, also from Wonder Woman #1.

    Well, maybe not so much of that third thing, though one never knows what Diana and Etta did during the middle of the story. King’s Colossal Circus is raising money for the army, and Diana decides to bring not only Steve but the ”settlement kids” as well. From what I can tell, it’s some sort of care for orphans or other traumatised kids. Steve asks to bring Etta, but she isn’t shown until page three when the story is well underway. The kids have their priorities straight, however, as they say the elephants are the best.

    Elva King is apparently the elephant trainer, even though they have Burmese elephant handlers. Peter is drawing them in a hugely stereotypical way. Meanwhile, the elephants are dropping like flies, and Elva seeks solace with Dom Carney the trapeze performer, who has very little sympathy with her or the elephants.

    Is there any man in this comic who doesn’t come off as a jackass? Might be Colonel Darnell…

    At the same time, Steve discovers his favourite problem, that is a punchable one, as he helps drive away a bunch of gangsters who wants protection money from the Burmese handlers. Why the gangsters didn’t try to extort the circus owner instead isn’t explained.

    We get lots of theories on who is poisoning the elephants, all of them wrong. Pam the pachyderm dies during the show, nearly crushing Elva, but she is rescued by Wonder Woman, who then puts on her own show, consisting of trick riding, horse carrying, lion wrestling, and a trapezee stunt, where she barely survives a sabotage attempt. She decides to help out, and borrows a stuffed baby elephant. She and Etta hides in it and infiltrates the elephant compund. The burmese handlers are worshipping the elephants, but a big elephant isn’t fooled and throws out Diana and Etta. They are captured by the Burmese, who decide to sacrifice them.

    Diana: ”Sacrifice is good for the soul, Etta! I have a yearning to visit this secret temple of the elephants!”

    So Diana and Etta are carried of by the Burmese to be sacrificed, who are pursued by the gangsters who wants to bump them off, who are pursued by Steve. Meanwhile, Elva wants to have a tête-à-tête with Dom, but her uncle the circus owner discovers them and fires Dom. However, one of the Burmese handlers were still there, and have his elephant kidnap Elva and run away. They are pursued on clown horses by King the uncle and Dom.

    As the Burmese intends to sacrifice Diana, Etta, and Elva, San Yan makes the mistake of speaking Burmese, which makes Diana realise he is speaking with a heavy Japanese accent. I wonder why she didn’t realise it while still hidden as a baby elephant, but maybe her ears were stuffed full. Thus having worked out everything to her satisfaction, she breaks her chains and every able-bodied American join battle against the common enemy and punches them. Finally Elva and Dom gets King the uncle’s blessing for their marriage. And Diana—as Wonder Woman—calls Steve ”darling”.

    So this was a seriously silly adventure, where Marston really digs into the dictionary with words like pachyderm and avuncular. The anti-Asian racism and stereotying is also really bad. Even American gangsters gets to help out… Another fun thing here is Diana’s behaviour. Even when tied up she is constantly telling jokes and making humorous comments, sometimes even leaning on the fourth wall.

    Characters introduced: Elva King, San Yan, Dom Carney, Mike Mulgoon

    Concepts introduced: Elephants!, Diana's language skills

    Expressions: ”Black hounds of Hades”
    Last edited by kjn; 04-08-2019 at 01:30 AM.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  2. #122
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    And to continue with the Bechdel tests, both stories read so far in Wonder Woman #1 passed both the Bechdel and the Reverse Bechdel tests. I'll have to make a note to continue checking for this!
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  3. #123
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Can the inaugural issue of Wonder Woman do without Paula von Gunther? Obviously not, as she appears in ”Wonder Woman Versus the Prison Spy Ring”! Feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on this story! Next Saturday, 20 April, we will continue with ”The Greatest Feat of Daring in Human History”, the last story from Wonder Woman #1.

    Colonel Darnell and Steve Trevor discuss the ongoing threat of German U-boats against US shipping (and not in the sense of Scandinavia and the World). Meanwhile Diana is packing her Wonder Woman clothes for some weekend outing. Instead Steve brings her to prison, to interrogate Paula von Gunther with the help of a lie detecter. Paula proves to be really strong as she reacts in anger to the lie detector, breaking her bonds (someone else other than Diana capable of that!) and the lie detector.

    Meanwhile Freddy, the warden’s sone, plays cowboy and lassoes Diana’s bag. It turns out to be improperly locked, so Freddy is now in possession of the best lasso in the world.

    Diana leaves with Steve, without discovering the missing Magic Lasso, and Paula leaves her cell for her underground dungeon under the prison, filled with agents and nubile slaves. She tries to break the captured Captain Loyal who knows secret information, but fails. However, she notes Freddy playing with the Magic Lasso and her sister, recognises the Magic Lasso, and manages to take it from Freddy via her pet guard.

    We don’t get to see it, but obviously Paula uses the Magic Lasso on Captain Loyal, because next day the U-boats attack again. Diana meanwhile discovers the missing Lasso and pole vaults into the prison, where she befriends Freddie (getting tied up in the process!), teaches him to lasso, and gets the story how a guard took the Magic Lasso from him. Paula’s pet guard is found murdered, and the prison guards believe Wonder Woman killed him. She escapes via another pole vault and gets in touch with Steve, who manages to discover that the guard was poisoned by Paula.

    We get a page with Diana trying to get away from Steve, while he demands she stay so she can take dictation in case Diana calls. Finally, Diana manages to get away a short while and call Steve. She goes back to prison to find Paula, but it turns out Steve’s witness has gone missing. Diana is locked up in the cell beside Paula’s, and is then captured with the help of the Magic Lasso. She is brought to Paula’s secret dungeon where she also finds a caged Freddy. With the help of Freddy, Wonder Woman manages to retrieve the Magic Lasso and pursues the fleeing Paula. At the same time, Steve somehow has learned about a secret German U-boat base near the prison, and orders a cavalry regiment to attack it. The first charge fails, but Wonder Woman turns up and leads the the soldiers to victory. Paula is shot and falls into the water, probably so she can turn up again sooner or later. At the end, Diana gets the thanks from the regiment and herself thanks Freddy.

    Gee, the number of German (and Japanese) secret bases on US soil is just staggering…

    Compared to a lot of earlier adventures, this was told fairly linearly, though there were more than a bit of coincidences and contrivances in the plot. It’s also interesting that while there has been kids present in earlier adventures, this is the first one where a kid serves as a supporting character with a real role in the plot. But I think it’s symptomatic that only Freddy gets to play a real role, and not his big sister Mabel.

    The story also contains a nice easter egg: Mabel reads Sensation Comics #1 when Freddy first lassoes her.

    Characters introduced: Freddy, Mabel, Captain Loyal

    Concepts introduced: Magic Lasso usable by everyone, sporty Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman honorary Colonel of the 103rd Cavalry

    Expressions: none that I could find

    Bechdel / Reverse Bechdel tests: Yes / Yes
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  4. #124
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    Huh, I don't remember that story at all.
    But yeah, the number of secret bases and spies is quite amazing. If you tallied up all of the spies who pop up in the states across different comics in WW2...

  5. #125
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    This story was loosely adapted into one of the first episodes of the TV series - "Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther."

  6. #126
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Mittens View Post
    Huh, I don't remember that story at all.
    But yeah, the number of secret bases and spies is quite amazing. If you tallied up all of the spies who pop up in the states across different comics in WW2...
    Lets see, over thirteen stories so far we have had enemy spies or infiltrators in every story but one (and in that one the main bad guy was still a foreigner!), secret bases in nine, and submarines in three. This one hit the trifecta of enemy spies, two secret bases, and submarines!
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  7. #127
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    The first issue of Wonder Woman concludes with ”The Greatest Feat of Daring in Human History”! Feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on this story! Next Saturday, 27 April, we will continue with ”The Railroad Plot” from Sensation Comics #10.

    Not so detailed this time; Easter got in the way. We meet Etta Candy’s brother Mint, who is in the army as a dispatch rider. An attempt to rob him of the orders he was carrying led to Etta and Diana going to Texas to investigate and help him recuperate. Mint turns out to be the only guy not susceptible to Diana’s charms.

    Diana impresses with some trick riding skills, before they manage to save the lovely Pepita Valdez from an abandoned mine shaft. Pepita rapidly seduces Mint, and drugs him using a cigaret. He new reveals the secret plans that the earlier robbery attempt failed to get. Pepita has second thoughts on this, but her associate Pancho has no such doubts. He rides away to sell the plans, but has an accident on the way, never more to be seen in the story.

    Etta and Diana discovers Pepita and Mint, but Pepita manages to escape. Etta and Wonder Woman give chase, but are captured by bandits in cahoots with Pepita, and then turned over to Japanese agents. Wonder Woman breaks free and rescues Etta, and they go to Mexico City where they discover that Pepita is a famous bull-fighter. They go to the bull-fight, where Diana saves Pepita from the bull El Terrifico. Wonder Woman manages to get Pepita to tell everything about the Japanese base in Mexico, and they meet Steve Trevor who has been sent to investigate reports of the same. Wonder Woman goes there and forces the base to surrender.

    The issue concludes with Wonder Woman blessing Mint’s and Pepita’s relation, and Etta Candy commenting that she prefers her body big and round.

    There is a lot of racism and racial stereotyping in this story. The black porter on the train is presented sympathetically, but like all the black people seen so far he is presented as a happy servant. Or to put it another way, once might be happenstance, twice is stereotyping, and thrice is racism. Pepita falls into the exotic and sexy latina trope—or as she is described in the introductory legend: ”lovely, dark, and dangerous”—while Pancho and the rest of the Mexicans are treacherous bandits. The Japanese are drawn extremely stereotypically, they are presented as murderous and decadent, and their speech patterns are also stereotypical.

    The theme of the female antagonists being salvagable also continues: Pepita is brave and capable, and was forced to assist the Japanese due to threats against her father.

    Characters introduced: Mint Candy, Pepita

    Concepts introduced: Diana’s telepathic powers, Diana trying to get Etta to eat less candy

    Expressions: none that I could find

    Bechdel / Reverse Bechdel tests: Yes / Yes
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  8. #128
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I wonder could Pepita and Etta’s brother ever appear again. What makes their relationship special is how rare interracial couples were in comics
    Please sign this so we can at least show DC we want Legend of Wonder Woman part 2.

    https://www.change.org/p/comic-fans-...part-2-back-on

  9. #129
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    I wonder could Pepita and Etta’s brother ever appear again. What makes their relationship special is how rare interracial couples were in comics
    We never see them again sadly. I mostly recall how neato it was to see Pepita the Matadora in action in that one page where shes bull fighting

  10. #130
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Should they come out in modern comics? I mean they don’t have to be regulars.
    Please sign this so we can at least show DC we want Legend of Wonder Woman part 2.

    https://www.change.org/p/comic-fans-...part-2-back-on

  11. #131
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    A solid first issue. If someone picked this up without having read the previous ten issues of “Sensation Comics” that preceded it, they would come away with a clear picture of who Wonder Woman is. We get a full origin story detailing “how she came to be” and a confrontation with her (at the time) arch-nemesis, Paula Von Gunther. First issues are supposed to establish a character and their world and that’s exactly what this comic does across the four stories included. Along with Diana, we’re introduced to Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons on Paradise Island, Steve Trevor and Etta Candy.

    I have to laugh when I think about how modern comic writers could get a whole year’s worth of stories from the ones that are presented here. Greg Rucka took six issues to tell his “Year One” origin story and I’m sure if he or any other of today’s writers decided to re-tell these stories, they would easily drag them out to be three or four issues each!

    One thing I noticed this time as I read was the prominent animal imagery. The splash page of each story features a picture of Diana either riding or handling a large animal: a kanga, elephant, horse and bull. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a representation of her strength that she can easily tame or handle these animals? It may be nothing, but I just noticed a commonality there in the art for the splash pages.

  12. #132
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Part of the longer re-tellings today is strictly numeric: this story has just under eight frames per page on average, while modern comics seems to hover between four and five. That makes the twelve pages of comics about on par with the 22 pages of comics today. The higher emphasis on the work of the artists is probably the main driver there.

    But a larger factor is probably switching storytelling styles, and it is easily visible in fantasy and science fiction as well. The storytelling in most of these old stories is primarily declarative, where we are told and shown the highlights of what happened. They spend little time on why something happened, or working on developing the relations or personalities between characters, or embellishing the background. If we take Rebirth #2 as an example, Rucka spends a lot of pagetime in describing the relations between Diana and the rest of the Amazons, how Diana thinks differently from them, and on daily life on Themyscira. We also get far more transitional work between scenes.

    Nice observation with the animals, I missed that entirely.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  13. #133
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    I loved the story telling style of the golden age...Nowadays everything just seems to drag its feet.

    By the way ive been wondering, is there a list of release dates to know what the reading order is between sensation comics and wonder woman?

  14. #134
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    I'm sort of inbetween. I like the increased scope for characterisation, worldbuilding, and transitory scenes, but I agree that a lot of current comics take far too long to reach any conclusion. I think Wilson is hitting a good balance recently, with three-issue stories interspersed with some single-issue stories, with some connective glue.

    I have no idea on where you can find such a list. I checked dc.fandom.com, but it didn't list release dates that far back that I could see. Instead I just follow the order of stories in the Wonder Woman Golden Age omnibus—I assume that DC had records of it somewhere.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  15. #135
    Astonishing Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    When WW goes to the circus, was that when she lifted up the elephant off the Burmese man trapped underneath it? If so, I remember that story. Besides winning the tournement, I believe this was WW's first big strength feat.

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