June 26, 2011

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Digging into Digital Special: Comixology Wonder Woman Sale

Welcome to a special edition of Digging into Digital. While it's completely inexplicable (except as perhaps a "Sorry, we know Diana should have gotten the next movie!"), DC is running a Wonder Woman sale on Comixology that ends today. Since I've probably read more Wonder Woman than the average comic fan, I thought I would give some pointers to the curious.

I agree with Johanna Draper Carson that some of the choices are a bit odd but good comics are good comics, even if the feature character isn't front and center. (I think she's right that easy access to digital copies was key.) Absolutely no one will hear me complain if they put JLI comics on sale on a Batman weekend. (And if you complain, I'm telling J'ohnn you stole all his Oreos.)

There is one telling omission (no Artemis as Wonder Woman that I can find) and one glaring omission (Byrne's overlooked but quite good run). The former occurred when everyone felt that existing heroes needed to be replaced for a time because it worked so well with Superman (see Az-Bats, Fantastic Four with Doom's son and then a rotating cast in replace of Reed Richards, the Clone Saga, and others if you must) and for reasons I forget, Diana loses her place as Wonder Woman. Probably not something DC wants to emphasize, given the desire to turn back the clock as much as possible.

We are of course back to status quo shortly before John Byrne takes over and writes arguably his last best non-nostalgia stories. Byrne's run included some nice tweaks at DC's expense, including using Doomsday and yet another return for Barry Allen, long before Johns did that non-ironically. We get a great supporting cast, including Cassie's first(?) appearance as Wonder Girl and Byrne emphasizes Diana's links to her Greek Heritage. It was all very well done, and worth seeking out, but given that I believe Byrne and DC still hate each other, it's unlikely to go digital anytime soon.

But this is not a time to talk about what's excluded, let's look at what you can get, instead, all for less than 100 Lincoln coins...

Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier. This is arguably the oddest of the choices, as I always think of this as being more Hal Jordan's comic than anything else. Reminding me quite a bit of an old Justice League of America comic that features a "lost adventure" of the League long before its formation, Cooke uses his 1960s animation style to bring darn near everyone in the DC canon together for a grand adventure that only a large gathering of heroes can handle. If you are at all a fan of Cooke and haven't read this, grab it now. You can't beat the price. I'd be getting this, except I opted to pull the trigger on the Absolute Edition, because I love Cooke.

Matt Wagner has spent some time creating early adventures of Batman, all of which are quite a bit of fun. Trinity is his examination of when Batman started hanging out with Superman and Wonder Woman. This is another one of those series that might have gone under the radar for Wagner fans because of the subject material, but I own the paper copies, and I like it quite a bit.

Wanna see what happens when Warren Ellis turns his own toys into evil so severe that only a trio of brave people can hope to stop them? Then JLA/Planetary is for you. I've re-read that story about half a dozen times, and it never gets old. Look for the little Easter Eggs that litter the pages of this so far out of continuity it couldn't make it back with a map story and enjoy Ellis at his best. A steal at 99 cents.

George Perez's Wonder Woman Run (Volume 2, issues 1-24). I've read almost all of this part of the series, and it's rock solid. The picture I used above is Perez's cover to issue one, and the drawings inside are just as good if not better. A lot of Perez's ideas have been ret-conned over the years, but I think they hold up pretty well. Plus you get one of the best artists in comics drawing pages upon pages of Greek architecture in his nearly inimitable style. If you don't want to drop over 20 bucks at a clip, get the first seven issues, where Perez sets the new continuity up that lasted for quite a bit of time.

Those are the ones I'd grab if I didn't own them already. For my part, I'm headed into the early days of Wonder Woman, to see what her Golden Age was like. These get a sight unseen recommendation, because cheap Golden Age comics are always worth seeing, just to know that once upon a time, almost anything was possible on the page. That's a lesson it would take decades to re-learn.

If you get any of these on my recommendation, I hope you like them! Remember, the sale ends today, so if you're going to grab any of these, do it soon.