By Molly Jane Kremer and Jarrod Jones. Happy New Comic Book Day! This is Casual Wednesdays With DoomRocket, a podcast series where each week we discuss our feelings concerning the comics that mean the most to us, and the industry news that affects us all. This week, MJ & Jarrod share the comic books that have scared them the most over the years. Then they share their Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues of the week, and read reviews for ‘WolfCop’ #1 and ‘Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special’.
Don’t forget to share this podcast on the social network of your choosing, and please enjoy.
MJ’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues:
Prince of Cats HC — Image Comics/$24.99
ODY-C #12 — Image Comics/$3.99
Mae #6 — Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Giant Days 2016 Holiday Special — $7.99
Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special — DC Comics/$7.99
Jarrod’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues:
Surgeon X #2 — Image Comics/$3.99
Deathstroke #5 — DC Comics/$2.99
Nighthawk #6 — Marvel Comics/$3.99
Batman Beyond #1 — DC Comics/$2.99
American Monster #5 — AfterShock Comics/$3.99
REVIEWS FOR OCTOBER 26, 2016
Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special
Written by Various.
Art and colors by Various.
Lettered by Various.
MJ: This has been a big year for Wonder Woman. She made her big screen debut (in a film that I refuse to mention by name, sorry); she has an incredible new ongoing comic series with terribly great creative teams; DC has begun reprinting much of her excellent back catalog in handsome new editions; and comics luminaries like Jill Thompson and the team of Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn have made their indelible mark on the character in critically acclaimed original graphic novels. She was even named an honorary ambassador to the UN last week, to much fanfare.
What’s the occasion for all this pomp and circumstance, you might ask? Duh, it’s Wonder Woman’s 75th birthday! And DC Comics has seen fit to honor her Diamond Jubilee with a 75th Anniversary Special, wonderful enough even for an Amazon Princess.
The creators included in this anthology are some of today’s best and brightest, and there was an obvious and appreciated effort to get some ladies up in here, and the credits for the stories and pin-ups are about half dudes, half gals. (A good percentage for a big-two superhero anthology, in my estimation.) There are a few glaring absences, though. I was sad to see no contribution from George Perez–as his run on the character is one of the pinnacles of her continuity–or from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, whose Wonder Woman series was undoubtedly the highlight of the New 52’s first half. Adam Hughes and JG Jones, despite long stints as Wonder Woman cover artists, are also sadly missing. And anything at all from Jose Luis Garcia Lopez would have been a joy, as his style book interpretation of Diana is one of the most memorable and enduring in her iconography.
But honestly, I shouldn’t gripe about what wasn’t in the Special, because everything that was in it was exceptionally good. Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone, and Dave McCaig kick off the collection with some good ol’ Wonder-Woman-beatin’-up-Nazis (she hates those guys), to a lush and heartbreaking four pages by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, and Michele Assarasakorn. Some unused Brian Bolland cover studies are up next (those pencils though), followed by one of the longer (and more thoughtful) stories, by Mairghread Scott, Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia. There are delightful but short two-or three-pagers from Liam Sharp & Romulo Fajardo Jr; Fabio Moon; and of course the Marguerites Bennett and Sauvage. Fiercely gorgeous pin-ups are sprinkled throughout, by Jenny Frison, Annie Wu, Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn, Sebastian Fiumara & Fairbairn, Claire Roe & Jordie Bellaire, Marcio Takara & Marcelo Maiolo, and Phil Jimenez & Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Longer stories by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon; Hope Larson, Ramon Bachs & Mat Lopez; Gail Simone, Colleen Doran & Hi-Fi, and a six-page excerpt from Jill Thompson’s fully-watercolored graphic novel, The True Amazon, alternate from drama to humor to action to inspiration. Each writer showcases their different views of the character, while each artists offer their own unique takes on her look and costume. A cornerstone of the collection is Greg Rucka’s “transcription” of Lois Lane casually interviewing Diana for the Daily Planet Sunday Magazine. (And it looks real legit, with “photography” by Sharp and Fajardo.) It’s the most relevant piece to the current Wonder Woman comic (as one would expect, being written by the same writer), and reading Rucka’s prose only accentuates his innate and amazing grasp of Diana’s voice (Lois’ too), and showcases his already established talent for novel-writing.
The content itself can’t help but be reminiscent of the excellent Wonder Woman #600 special from 2010, but still, anthology comics can be a hard sell, even with a star-studded roster like this one. Yet these seventy-five pages (yup, it’s exactly seventy-five pages, the handful of ads at the back notwithstanding) are everything you could want out of a Wonder Woman comic. Uplifting and inspiring whilst kicking all the ass necessary to acquire peace and/or justice, this is a necessary addition to any Wonder Woman fan’s collection, or just a good read for anyone who prefers elegantly and effortlessly good superhero comics.
10 out of 10
Written by Max Marks.
Art by Arcana Studios.
Story Edited by Lowell Dean.
JJ: There’s nothing exceptional about WolfCop #1, save of course that it exists to further Lowell Dean’s lycan franchising blitz, but let’s face it — there really isn’t supposed to be. It doesn’t reach for any sort of intellectual footing, never once does it apply any sort of narrative subtext, and you know what? It never had to. It’s based on a movie about a ding-dang werewolf cop. I think it should go without saying that the general rules of objective reasoning don’t apply here. The operative point is simply this: Is WolfCop #1 any damn fun?
The short answer is of course it fucking is, but a longer one for the uninitiated would go something like: Once upon a time, back in the halcyon days of 2014, a maniac named Lowell Dean unleashed his half splatter movie, half cop comedy WolfCop onto unsuspecting theater-goers. It was about a werewolf police officer named Lou Garou and his conspiracy-buff friend Willie, who get into a scrape with a sect of reptilian shapeshifters who want to sacrifice him for… look, it’s a wild thing to behold, so go check it out whenever you get a chance. In the meantime, just trust me when I say that you’ll require zero context to enjoy Dynamite’s WolfCop comic.
It’s written by Max Marks, who’s been attached to the production of the horror/comedy hybrid since it was a wee little trailer back in 2013, so if there’s an attitude to capture from the motion picture WolfCop, aside from “Let’s Grindhouse Until We Bleed,” Marks captures it with ease. His dialogue, profanity-laden and completely juvenile as it is, blends together in a cohesive way that makes the pages zip by at a breathless clip. If we’re to be subjected to a WolfCop anthology comic series, I want Max Marks behind it all the way.
Of course, WolfCop‘s presence in the comic book strata probably wouldn’t have gone over as cleanly if WolfCop creator and director Lowell Dean wasn’t on board. He serves as the book’s story editor, and his collaborative efforts with Mr. Marks make for a thoroughly raucous debut. I could gripe about the almost uninspired, workmanlike artistic performance from Sean O’Reilly’s Arcana Studios, but as far as conveying a buddy road trip yarn dripping in viscera doled out by a pair of bullshitters? Arcana gets the job done.
For those who pay lip service to such things, WolfCop #1, and the entire WolfCop comic book series as far as I know, is set between the events of WolfCop and its on-the-nose-so-much-it-rules sequel, Another WolfCop, so continuity hounds will likely come to appreciate certain connective story beats that may (or may not) come down the road, like, how in the hell is Willie still alive? When and where will Lou’s former partner, Tina, pop up?
WolfCop #1 doesn’t have time for any of that chatter. It concerns itself with the wanton violence and casual bloodletting you’d expect from a comic book with a premise like that. Look, I don’t know about you, but it’s October, and sometimes I just want to read a comic book where a werewolf wears a damn badge. WolfCop happily obliges.
8 out of 10
Check back next week for more from Casual Wednesdays!
Before: “We Confess Our Comic Book Guilty Pleasures,” here.