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  1. #1
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    Default Wonder Woman by William Messner-Loebs Book One out in May 2020

    Product description:

    “Wonder Woman by William Messner-Loebs Book One showcases the most memorable moments of William Messner-Loebs work on Wonder Woman and features classic tales that have shaped the Amazon Warrior we know today. Collects Wonder Woman Special #1 (1992), Wonder Woman #63, #64, #67, Wonder Woman Annual #3 (1992) and Wonder Woman #68-75 (1992).”

    Amazon release date is May 26, 2020.

    $39.99
    Paperback

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I hope he gets some money

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    Incredible Member Amazon Swordsman's Avatar
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    Oh, wasn’t this the WW writer who was homeless or something at one point? He was also credited in the movie. I’m not familiar with his run, may have to check this out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amazon Swordsman View Post
    Oh, wasn’t this the WW writer who was homeless or something at one point? He was also credited in the movie. I’m not familiar with his run, may have to check this out.
    He was, and I think may still be; I think he & his wife are still living out of their car.

    The Messner-Loebs' run is one of my favorites. In terms of art, it struggled - after Jill Thompson, Lee Moder took over, and for many his style was too cartoony, although I thought it synched well with the stories. Moder only lasted a short time, though. Then Paris Cullens came on for six months, and while a fine artist, many objected to how muscular he made Diana and how heavily-lined the art was. Then came a slew of artists, each of whom drew one issue and were "auditioning" for the job. While this is how Deodato got hired, many of this artists weren't great, and one (Massengil, I think) produced some of the least attractive art I've ever seen in a WW comic. And then, sales went up with Deodato, who is undeniably talented, but his Diana's waist kept getting smaller, as did her clothing, and it was a cheesecake, 90's-Image style that really didn't synch with Loebs' writing.

    In sum, the early Loebs' run is plagued with inconsistent and occasionally unappealing art, and the second half has consistent art but the disconnect between the writer and the artist is obvious. But I love his run in that his Diana makes friends of enemies over time, she usually sees the value in all people, and she uses her powers to connect to others, not tear through them like a battering ram. She's funny, and she works through dilemmas largely ignored in super-hero comics. Several times, Loebs' also approaches Diana's interaction with the mythological with a sense of mystery and danger in which everything comes at a cost, and the slow-burn Ares Buchanan/Donna Milton story pays off really well.

    And the Brian Bolland covers are AMAZING. *That* was consistent all the way through.

    Plenty of people will tell you why they dislike this period. It just happens to be a run that is dear to my heart, and I'm glad more than just the Deodato period is getting the trade paperback treatment!

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    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amazon Swordsman View Post
    Oh, wasn’t this the WW writer who was homeless or something at one point? He was also credited in the movie. I’m not familiar with his run, may have to check this out.
    I have only read the trade paperback devoted to the Deodato drawn issues. Exciting stories. Based on that I would encourage you to check this out. I need to get it myself.

  6. #6
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    I just couldn't wrap my head around the issue number 0 retcon of Diana's origin. Why make Hippolyta out to be a liar? Why suggest that she willingly slept with Heracles and that the Amazons all hooked up with his men and that it was Antiope who was smart..? It was a twist for the sake of a twist, and the Deodato S&M art only made it all worse.

    I'm just glad most of the writers since completely disregarded it.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyBoy View Post
    I just couldn't wrap my head around the issue number 0 retcon of Diana's origin. Why make Hippolyta out to be a liar? Why suggest that she willingly slept with Heracles and that the Amazons all hooked up with his men and that it was Antiope who was smart..? It was a twist for the sake of a twist, and the Deodato S&M art only made it all worse.

    I'm just glad most of the writers since completely disregarded it.
    Maybe I need to refresh my drink on these issues because that wasn’t my takeaway on the origin.

    But I do co-sign with you on the artwork. The T&A was a turn off, however I still appreciated the dynamism of Deodato’s work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    In terms of art, it struggled - after Jill Thompson, Lee Moder took over, and for many his style was too cartoony, although I thought it synched well with the stories. Moder only lasted a short time, though. Then Paris Cullens came on for six months, and while a fine artist, many objected to how muscular he made Diana and how heavily-lined the art was. Then came a slew of artists, each of whom drew one issue and were "auditioning" for the job. While this is how Deodato got hired, many of this artists weren't great, and one (Massengil, I think) produced some of the least attractive art I've ever seen in a WW comic. And then, sales went up with Deodato, who is undeniably talented, but his Diana's waist kept getting smaller, as did her clothing, and it was a cheesecake, 90's-Image style that really didn't synch with Loebs' writing.
    I absolutely agree with this summation of the art for Messer-Loeb's run. This was especially difficult to deal with after the incredible artwork from Perez. While I like Thompson (too stiff and unsuited for action), I felt that neither she nor Moder (too cartoony) fit with Wonder Woman.

    Then, for better and worse, Deodato happened. And sales for Wonder Woman did increase. While his art wasn't really my taste or style, it was beautifully drawn. And he was consistent and there was a dynamism to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    But I love his run in that his Diana makes friends of enemies over time, she usually sees the value in all people, and she uses her powers to connect to others, not tear through them like a battering ram. She's funny, and she works through dilemmas largely ignored in super-hero comics. Several times, Loebs' also approaches Diana's interaction with the mythological with a sense of mystery and danger in which everything comes at a cost, and the slow-burn Ares Buchanan/Donna Milton story pays off really well.
    I agree that the pay off of the Buchanan/Milton story was really good. And it was definitely a slow-burn.

    But overall, his run of stories was a mixed bag for me. His characterization of Diana was great, but the stories and situations themselves didn't do much for me. For example, the space pirate arc didn't do much for me (granted, the artwork really turned me off).

    Neither was I a fan of Taco Whiz nor the Mayfly situation. And I'm *still* on the fence about the White Magician. And the biker outfit.

    But there was fun stuff, like her run-in with the Joker. And Messer-Loeb's most lasting contribution to the Wonder Woman mythos: Artemis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    And the Brian Bolland covers are AMAZING. *That* was consistent all the way through.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyBoy View Post
    I just couldn't wrap my head around the issue number 0 retcon of Diana's origin. Why make Hippolyta out to be a liar? Why suggest that she willingly slept with Heracles and that the Amazons all hooked up with his men and that it was Antiope who was smart..? It was a twist for the sake of a twist, and the Deodato S&M art only made it all worse.

    I'm just glad most of the writers since completely disregarded it.
    I didn't like those aspects of The Contest either. I always wondered how much of that was dictated by editorial and how much was Messer-Loeb. It completely up-ended the beloved relationship between Diana and Hippolyta set up by Perez.

    Still, I think it could have been interesting and better executed with a better artist. I agree that Deodato was not suited for this particular story as it needed nuance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    Maybe I need to refresh my drink on these issues because that wasn’t my takeaway on the origin.
    When Diana finally reunited with Themyscira, she found out that the Amazons had been in the hell dimension for several decades (enough that a young Artemis grew to adulthood) even though it had only been a few months in our dimension.

    Hippolyta got premonitions or glimpses of the future that Wonder Woman will die. She orchestrated a new contest to select a new champion to circumvent her vision. (It was Byrne that added the fact Hippolyta approved the spell that linked Diana and Artemis, which allowed Artemis to win the contest.)

    Diana also started getting visions whilst on the island. Diana found out that she looks exactly like her aunt Antiope. She also learned that Hippolyta loved Heracles and did not fight for the Amazon's freedom. Rather, it was Antiope using the Medusa Mask to look like Hippolyta that led them to freedom.

    It was because of Hippolyta's betrayal that Antiope left and did not journey with them to Themyscira.

  9. #9
    Spectacular Member Psy-lock's Avatar
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    Messner-Loebs' run is a mixed bag for me. His characterization for Diana was mostly good but he did a lot of damage to Hippolyta. Some of the stories were good, some less so, though I think he was let down by the art quite a bit. But he did give us Artemis, so he gets major props from me for that.

  10. #10
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    Diana also started getting visions whilst on the island. Diana found out that she looks exactly like her aunt Antiope. She also learned that Hippolyta loved Heracles and did not fight for the Amazon's freedom. Rather, it was Antiope using the Medusa Mask to look like Hippolyta that led them to freedom.

    It was because of Hippolyta's betrayal that Antiope left and did not journey with them to Themyscira.
    Yeah, that's the stuff that really bothered me. My recollection of the details is a little foggy because I read through the issue once and was completely disgusted with it. Basically the retconned origin made it look like Hippolyta naively led the entire Amazon race down the primrose path all because she was hot for Heracles, and it was only Antiope who saw him for what he was. I think there was even a scene where Heracles basically informs Hippolyta that he's going to rape both her and Antiope, and only then does she clue in to the fact that he sucks. What was especially galling though, is that this retcon made it so that after Antiope ran away, Hippolyta convinced the entire Amazon Nation to lie to Diana about what happened, just to make herself look better. What the hell is up with that?

    Diana found a bust that looked like her, and then learned all of this revamped backstory and figured out the bust was actually of her aunt. So I guess the idea was that Hippolyta sculpted Antiope as a baby in the clay? Something like that.

    And because of the overly sexualized artwork, the emphasis was really on Hippolyta, in romance novel cover girl poses, letting her libido lead her nation to ruin.

    As has been said, it completely undermined the relationship Perez had established and gives us absolutely nothing by way of payoff. You can still jump straight ahead to the contest storyline where Hippolyta does a whole bunch of shady stuff to protect Diana. You lose nothing. If you really want a story that makes Hippolyta into more of a grey character, The Contest does that. The retcon about the fall of the Amazons isn't needed.

    To be honest, I don't know what's so great about Artemis. I find it weird that she has the exact same name as a Greek god instead of some variation, and it confused the hell out of me that a woman from the tribe of Amazons that were Middle Eastern was fair-skinned with red hair. I don't mind her in general as the "tough Amazon" sister for Diana, but I don't think the character is anything all that special.

    I do respect at least that the writer had some longer story lines with a payoff in mind. I didn't read any of it, so I can't say exactly how good it is, but in general long form storytelling is pretty rare in comics so I appreciate it when it creeps in.

    Not sure how I feel about resurrecting Circe though. She really became Wonder Woman's big bad I think because of her resurrection here. I wonder how long it would have taken for another writer to bring her back after Perez killed her off if Messner-Loebs hadn't done it during his run.

    More than anything, I hope he gets some money from this reprinting and is able to lead happier life. I hate to think of the people who work so diligently on these comics that entertained so many having so little to show for it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyBoy View Post

    To be honest, I don't know what's so great about Artemis. I find it weird that she has the exact same name as a Greek god instead of some variation, and it confused the hell out of me that a woman from the tribe of Amazons that were Middle Eastern was fair-skinned with red hair. I don't mind her in general as the "tough Amazon" sister for Diana, but I don't think the character is anything all that special.
    I think it was done to offset any accusations of unfortunate implications regarding Artemis' original story arc.

    Here you have an Amazon that comes from a tribe of black and brown women who are often depicted as a barbaric and less sympathetic foil to the Themysciran Amazons. Throughout Artemis' tenure as Wonder Woman, numerous characters such as Donna and Diana's own team mates on the Justice League voice their opinion that they find Artemis to be an inferior successor to Diana. Then it's revealed that Artemis becoming WW was really just a plot by Hippolyta to avert a prophecy of Diana dying and Artemis ends up dead in her place.

    Now imagine how this story would have looked if Artemis were a black or brown woman.

    Of course, Artemis was later resurrected and has since become one of the most popular Amazon characters in WW. But would she have gotten this chance if she weren't white?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I think it was done to offset any accusations of unfortunate implications regarding Artemis' original story arc.

    Here you have an Amazon that comes from a tribe of black and brown women who are often depicted as a barbaric and less sympathetic foil to the Themysciran Amazons. Throughout Artemis' tenure as Wonder Woman, numerous characters such as Donna and Diana's own team mates on the Justice League voice their opinion that they find Artemis to be an inferior successor to Diana. Then it's revealed that Artemis becoming WW was really just a plot by Hippolyta to avert a prophecy of Diana dying and Artemis ends up dead in her place.

    Now imagine how this story would have looked if Artemis were a black or brown woman.

    Of course, Artemis was later resurrected and has since become one of the most popular Amazon characters in WW. But would she have gotten this chance if she weren't white?

    Good points on the race dynamic and how that could have influenced the depiction of Artemis. My cynical side, however, rears itself to say that at the time of her creation this line of thinking would have been less prominent.

    Artemis was created in 1994--before MeToo and Weinstein, before Black Lives Matter, before OscarsSoWhite, before greater diversity and inclusion in media became more urgent.

    That's not to say that Messer-Loeb didn't consider the race issue when creating Artemis and the implications her depiction might have for the storyline he had in mind. But I'm a cynic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackBNimble View Post
    Good points on the race dynamic and how that could have influenced the depiction of Artemis. My cynical side, however, rears itself to say that at the time of her creation this line of thinking would have been less prominent.

    Artemis was created in 1994--before MeToo and Weinstein, before Black Lives Matter, before OscarsSoWhite, before greater diversity and inclusion in media became more urgent.

    That's not to say that Messer-Loeb didn't consider the race issue when creating Artemis and the implications her depiction might have for the storyline he had in mind. But I'm a cynic.
    I'm not sure about that. Diversity was pretty big in media in the 90s and DC was no exception. The Batman offices had created an Asian-American Batgirl, Steel, a black whom Superman considered worthy of his legacy was created and his own book for a while, Linda Park and Wally West was a prominent and beloved interracial relationship, Green Arrow was a mixed race hero etc. Artemis being black or brown would not have gone unnoticed nor would any racial tone deafness in her depiction.

    Let's not forget that this was the decade in which the term "women in refrigerators" was coined.

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    I do think it was probably an easier sell to say the New WW was a feisty redhead though. Those were popular in the early 90s too (April, Ariel).

    As much as they were starting to diversify, the Big Three were all replaced by white folks. I don't think they would have really made Jean Paul Valley black.

    ...but then, DC did introduce John Stewart pre-90s. But GL's not one of the Big Three.

    Back to the run, White Magician - verdict?

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    I liked the White Magician, still do and wish he'd be brought back.

    As for Artemis, I think the reason Artemis is a white redhead is because her predecessor Orana was. There was probably no more thought involved than that and both were awesome characters.

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