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  1. #1
    Blue Snowmod Nyssane's Avatar
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    Default Rank how the writers treat Wonder Woman's rogues gallery.

    I liked the thread idea about ranking writers, so here's one dedicated to writers' treatment of Wonder Woman's cast of super-villains!

    It has been stated for many years that Wonder Woman has a "villain problem." Fans feel that very few of her villains are prominently featured in stories both inside Wonder Woman comics and outside of them. Many writers, in fact, ditch Wonder Woman's classic, established rogues in favor for brand new creations (which I refer to as "One-Hit Wonder Villains" as they are then ditched by subsequent writers). But there are writers, especially in recent times, that utilize Wonder Woman's rogues to great success.

    Therefore, let's rank 'em!

    PS. I'm not including William Moulton Marston (or Joye Murchison) because he had set up the foundation for her rogues gallery in the 40's. I'm also only including main writers of the series and not fill-ins or temporary writers.

    The list includes...

    Robert Kanigher
    Denny O'Neil & Mike Sekowsky
    Martin Pasko
    Roy Thomas
    Gerry Conway
    George Perez
    William Messner-Loebs
    John Byrne
    Eric Luke
    Phil Jimenez
    Greg Rucka (both runs)
    Allan Heinberg
    Gail Simone
    J. Michael Straczynski & Phil Hester
    Brian Azzarello
    Meredith Finch
    James Robinson
    G. Willow Wilson

    Obviously you can include any writers of Wonder Woman runs that you've read; I don't expect to see too many people ranking Martin Pasko, for example.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Dr. Poison's Avatar
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    My short top 10 list from best to worst:


    1.) Phil Jimenez - He brought back Queen Clea after 30 years and Villainy Inc. after 50 years!
    2.) George Perez - As much as I love Priscilla Rich, his Barbara Minerva has become the iconic version of the Cheetah!
    3.) Roy Thomas - Used so many cool WWII villains.
    4.) John Byrne - He brought back Giganta after 20 years!
    5.) Eric Luke - Introduced the modern version of Dr. Poison.
    6.) Allan Heinberg - So many modernized villains in his short run!
    7.) Greg Rucka - His 2nd run utilized Diana's rogues quite well.
    8.) Gail Simon - She used some of the rogues but not to any great degree or in a way that enhanced them IMO.
    9.) Meredith Finch - Her Aegeus & Dr. Poison were in name only & boring.
    10.) Brian Azzarello - He didn't use a single rogue in his 3+ year run!
    Currently(or will soon be) Reading:Batman & The Outsiders, Doomsday Clock, Freedom Fighters, Hawkman, Heroes in Crisis, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Shazam, Suicide Squad: Black Files, Titans, Wonder Twins, Wonder Woman, & Young Justice.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    This is kind of hard, because we sadly never get a writer who uses more than handful at once. At most, it's usually the same 4-6.

    For me though:

    1. Greg Rucka- between his two runs, we have Cheetah, Veronica, Ares, Circe, Psycho, Cyber, Medusa, Dr. Poison, Phobos and Deimos and Silver Swan. What was lacking in his first run (Cheetah and to a lesser extent, Cale) he made up for in his second run and made them stronger. Maru and the Twins (mostly their designs) were probably the weakest in his second run, but those foundations are easy to fix.

    2. Phil Jimenez- I'd be happy to see Jimenez take over during Rebirth, he has a great love of WW history and villains and wouldn't now have to work around post-Crisis edicts and canon to get them in place. Not that he didn't do a great job of it. He is one of the few writers to make me buy the WW/Circe rivalry, he brought back Queen Clea from obscurity, and while Sebastian was lame his characterization and resourcefulness for Barbara Minerva were pretty great. And transforming Vanessa into the second Silver Swan was a cool tragic way to bring her back into the book.

    3. Grant Morrison- yeah he's only done two, but I love his takes on Psycho and Paula. It'a a shame he's using Max Lord, he'd probably kill it with some of the other Golden Age villains (he'd also no doubt come up with some new ones who would fit in with them)

    4. George Perez- issues with a reboot happening at all aside, Perez transferring new versions of Cheetah, Ares, his kids (which make more sense than Deception and the others), Circe, Psycho and the Silver Swan over to the new canon kept them relevant and tied to the mythos. I would have liked to see what he could have done with Giganta, Clea and others.

    That's pretty much it. I'm eager to see who else GWW uses. Ares was solid if a little rough, but her voice for Veronica seems on point so far, and the premises for Veronica and Giganta's stories are very interesting. For the others, Heinberg threw a lot of villains at us but used them poorly. Simone used Cheetah and Psycho better in Secret Six than the main book and her Ares was lame and easily dispatched. Finch and Robinson...best not to speak of them lol. And Azzarello didn't use any, though that's better than getting them and having it be poor IMO.

  4. #4
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    1. George Perez. I think he’s one of the few writers who didn’t feel the need to create his own original villain but instead took what was already there and expanded upon existing characters like Ares, Cheetah, Silver Swan, Circe, Dr. Psycho.

    2. Greg Rucka. I think I would have liked Veronica Cale more if she had just been Paula Von Gunther... and sometimes that's how I'll read her.

    3. Phil Jimenez. He makes the list just for bringing back the Angle Man. It's tragic that other writers didn't pick up on that and run with it.

    4. Gerry Conway. I love his Pre-Crisis/Bronze Age run back in the '80s. He used the Angle Man, gave us a new Cheetah, brought Kobra in and created the Red Dragon.

    5. Roy Thomas. He created the Silver Swan and her story with Doctor Psycho/Captain Wonder is a classic. Unfortunately his was a short run. I would liked to have seen what he would have done with the classic WW villains if he had more time and opportunity to use them.

    6. Robert Kanigher. He created some pretty wacky foes in the Silver Age and continued to use the Angle Man from time to time, but he gets points for his "return to the Golden Age" when we got the Earth-1 versions of classic Golden Age villains like Cheetah, Dr. Psycho and Giganta. He also gave us Mouse Man!!
    Last edited by The I.A.D.C.; 02-11-2019 at 06:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member WonderScott's Avatar
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    Wow. This is really hard for me to do, since I consider most writers handled one or maybe two well, but basically ignored the Wonder rogues on the whole.

  6. #6
    Blue Snowmod Nyssane's Avatar
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    I'd rank the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman writers as follows:

    1. Greg Rucka - His first run did great things with Ares and Medusa, and his second run breathed new life into Cheetah and Doctor Cyber. Plus, Veronica Cale (which was a One-Hit Wonder Villain for many years) came back to the forefront in a fantastic way.
    2. George Perez - Revitalized classic rogues like Cheetah, Silver Swan, Circe, and Ares, and added Deimos, Phobos, and Eris into the mix. But I place him below Rucka due to the fact that he decided to "Legacy"-ize Cheetah and Silver Swan instead of keeping the names of Priscilla Rich and Helen Alexandros, which I think is ultimately detrimental to their characters (obvi I'm not a fan of legacy characters).
    3. Phil Jimenez - The only writer other than Marston/Murchison to use Villainy Inc. His Queen Clea was perfection, and he also built on Dr. Poison and Giganta from Luke's and Byrne's runs respectively.
    4. G. Willow Wilson - It's definitely too early to tell, but I'm placing her here based primarily on the solicits and what we've seen so far. A brand new version of Ares, plus Nemesis, Giganta, and Veronica Cale all forthcoming!
    5. Gail Simone - Ironically, her best stories involving WW's rogues are in other series.
    6. Eric Luke - Set up a fantastic, modern version of Dr. Poison, but once again used his own creation Devastation over other existing rogues.
    7. Allan Heinberg - In his short 5 issue run, he at least tried to set up Wonder Woman's rogues gallery as being Circe as her big bad, Cheetah, Giganta, and Psycho as major foes, and Osira, Dr. Cyber, etc. as her core group. Sadly, he didn't do them much justice, but it could've been a great foundation to the third series.
    8. John Byrne - I love that he brought back Decay, but he spent far too much time on Darkseid and Morgaine Le Fay over her other rogues. His version of Giganta was... different, but I appreciate the attempt.
    9. William Messner-Loebs - I only remember him using Cheetah, really, and not in a great way. Most of the time he spent building his creation, White Magician. He is notable for creating Mayfly, who surprisingly appeared in subsequent stories over the Magician.
    10. James Robinson - Darkseid, Darkseid, Darkseid. All Darkseid, all the time. He's above other writers though simply because he brought back Zara after decades of limbo, plus Blue Snowman.
    11. Meredith Finch - There... was an attempt. She brought back Aegeus, but horribly. She brought back Dr. Poison, but horribly. And she used Cheetah, but horribly. I guess Hecate was at least cool?
    12. J. Michael Straczynski - Oye. The first writer to come along and "ditch" everything before it. He had the Dark Man and the Morrigan as Diana's primary adversaries, and it wasn't until he left the book and Phil Hester scrambled to pick up the scraps that we got Odyssey versions of Cheetah, Giganta, and Psycho.
    13. Brian Azzarello - Had no plans to use any of Wonder Woman's existing rogues, and even sarcastically claimed Egg Fu was his favorite when asked during interviews which implied he had no love for them.


    I do want to note that I think Robert Kanigher was *horrible* for Wonder Woman's rogues. Yes, he created Angle Man and Mouse Man, but while Batman and Superman were fighting their prominent rogues galleries in their books, Cheetah, Giganta, Ares, etc. were scarcely seen if at all.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention Steve Orlando. He only wrote 5 issues of WW proper, but he uses her Bronze Age villains a lot. Aegeus, the Inversion, Tezkatlipica and the Adjudicator have all popped up in his stuff, and they were all pretty solid.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    [*]George Perez - Revitalized classic rogues like Cheetah, Silver Swan, Circe, and Ares, and added Deimos, Phobos, and Eris into the mix. But I place him below Rucka due to the fact that he decided to "Legacy"-ize Cheetah and Silver Swan instead of keeping the names of Priscilla Rich and Helen Alexandros, which I think is ultimately detrimental to their characters (obvi I'm not a fan of legacy characters).
    What's weird is that they didn't start out as legacy villains, because Rich, Domaine and Alexandros were dumped from continuity at the time of Perez's writing. Rich was later awkwardly inserted back in with the time traveling Hippolyta stuff (which I don't like at all). So they are legacies without actually being legacies, which does not help with consistency at all. I agree that if had simply made Cheetah Dr. Priscilla Rich and overhauled her (because the rest of it was being overhauled anyway) it would have been smoother instead of having to now describe two different characters in two different versions of the mythos vs. different takes on one character.

    I feel the same way when it comes to Parasite over in the Superman mythos.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nyssane View Post
    [*]J. Michael Straczynski - Oye. The first writer to come along and "ditch" everything before it. He had the Dark Man and the Morrigan as Diana's primary adversaries, and it wasn't until he left the book and Phil Hester scrambled to pick up the scraps that we got Odyssey versions of Cheetah, Giganta, and Psycho.
    I would like to have seen Hester on the book if he wasn't saddled with the Odyssey nonsense.

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