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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 254

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a rough moment in the life of Wonder Woman, courtesy of Greg Rucka and Drew Johnson…

To set the scene, Medusa has returned and she is waging war against the goddess Athena, and the only way you can really hurt a goddess is to take it out on the goddess’ champion, which is Wonder Woman. Medusa murdered the child of one of Wonder Woman’s embassy workers. She then formally challenges Wonder Woman to a trial by combat. Wonder Woman is essentially forced to accept, even though this is pretty much a battle to the death.

Wonder Woman does okay at first, even chops off some of Medusa’s snakes! But Medusa is pretty much in control. Then it is revealed that beneath the helmet she was wearing, Wonder Woman is blindfolded, to combat Medusa’s powers. They battle some more, but finally, Medusa (who plans on then turning her gaze on the audience of the fight – some 48 million people who are watching the televised battle – and turning them all to stone) seems to gain an advantage – she stabs Wonder Woman and removes her blindfold.

Times are tough, so Wonder Woman…well, she has to get a bit tougher…

Cool stuff by Rucka and Johnson.

I suppose the last panel is probably a good choice for “the” moment, but really, the blinding or the decapitation would surely count as well.

51 Comments

The Crazed Spruce

September 12, 2009 at 6:32 am

Ho.

Lee.

CRAP.

:O

What, she can’t keep her eyes closed? Some Wonder Woman she is!

Well being punched in the gut can force someone’s eyes open or , I don’t know, being stabbed through the chest again.

Didn’t she kill Maxwell Lord awhile back?

Isn’t it weird how they sort of get around making a scene too horribly bloody by making all the blood black? I dunno, maybe I’m squeamish or something, and I realize Medusa is a mythical person, but this kind of violence doesn’t feel like it belongs in Wonder Woman.

All that said, the blinding is some badass stuff.

Damn, that is a good scene.

I agree, this is awesome stuff. Especially because we’re not used to Wonder Woman having many Fuck-Yeah moments.

Was Rucka’s run this good? Can somebody tell me the issues it lasted, please?

It took me three reads on that panel to figure out that she was blinding herself. Probably just because the scene’s out of context, I don’t know.

I agree, this is awesome stuff. Especially because we’re not used to Wonder Woman having many Fuck-Yeah moments.

Was Rucka’s run this good? Can somebody tell me the issues it lasted, please?

Greg Rucka on WONDER WOMAN was supposed to be extremely good. I was on a hiatus from comics when it was released, but it has a pretty strong reputation. This pushed me over the top on ordering the first couple trades.

As an aside, has Rucka ever really found an artist?

I mean, the best comics tend to get produced by folks that you tend to think of as teams. They go from title-to-title together. A writer can produce 2-3 titles a month, but the big one is usually the one that is written for his (or her) “partner”. Honestly, it seems like Grant Morrison and Frank Quitley should get paid more for working together than working separately. Mark Waid was like that with Mike Wieringo. Geoff Johns is vastly more readable with Doug Mahnke on pencils.

With Rucka, it is …. ummmm.

She couldn’t keep her eyes closed because Medusa’s power compels her to open her eyes and look at her… when Medusa’s speech baloons go purple, she’s using that power. That’s why Wonder Woman was blindfolded to begin with – the first panel posted here is the moment when Medusa simultaneously stabs Diana and removes her blindfold. If Diana hadn’t blinded herself, she would’ve been forced to look at Medusa.

And yes, this is an absolutely awesome moment, and this is one of the best moments of Rucka’s run – which was by FAR the best Wonder Woman run I’ve ever read. Nothing else comes close, and certainly not the massively-overhyped “powerless” era.

Sorry, the first sentence of the previous post should go… “Medusa’s power compels her VICTIMS to open their eyes and look at her”.

So this fight is televised? Explain to me why Superman , Flash or any other super-speed powered hero in the DC Universe didn’t rush to WW’s rescue and beat Medusa in 2 seconds flat?

I’m with Stealthwise on this one. Unless the story established that Medusa’s hair-snakes had acid-like venom, the blinding doesn’t quite make sense.

Why would readers assume that a snake’s venom causes blindness? I doubt snake venom in particular or poison in general is more likely to cause blindness than other chemical compounds.

Did the story establish that the venom was so corrosive it would blind Wonder Woman permanently? How do the onlookers (and the readers) know that? Who’s to say the poison isn’t a minor irritant that blinds someone for only a few minutes?

So Wonder Woman wins the fight a couple of minutes after blinding herself. Does she immediately ask for water to wash her eyes out? Or call 911 for emergency medical treatment? Because I’m not feeling this incident as an irreversible, life-changing event.

Wonder Woman should’ve prepared better for this trial. Perhaps she could’ve consulted Batman about anticipating every outcome. How about welding an eyeless helmet to her head–one that couldn’t be removed during combat? How about blinding herself for an hour or two with otherwise harmless chemicals? Relying on a simple blindfold’s not slipping during a heated battle seems like folly to me.

@Dean:

Considering the past 3 issues of Detective Comics I’d say that Rucka’s artist is J.H. Williams. But that guy is always masterful in his art so it doesn’t matter who the writer is

I thought of Matt B.’s question too. I presume Wonder Woman said she HAD to fight alone because of some honor thing. But if I’m a typical contrarian hero like Batman, I say screw the rules and screw Wonder Woman’s honor. I take out Medusa by dropping a boulder on her head and worry about Wonder Woman’s anger later.

Questions like these are why many people don’t take comics seriously. These life-and-death situations are almost always phony and unbelievable. As a typical example, consider the so-called “Death of Superman.” Supes could’ve stopped Doomsday in a couple dozen ways.

rob–i’m pretty sure that it’s people arguing about comic book minutia (such as the ways superman could have beaten doomsday) in comic stores that keeps people from taking comics seriously.

or maybe it’s the underpants on the outside of the spandex leggings?

Re: Rob Schmidt’s comments

Thank you for taking my point a step further. I agree , if I’m one of WW’s buddies on the JLA and I see her get stabbed thru the chest on live television I’m pretty much gonna chuck any honor-related issues out the window and save her ass whether she wants it or not. And if this fight was pre-arranged as it appears to be , there’s no way the Flash or Supes or Bats wouldn’t be watching. The second WW gets a sword stuck in her , that’s the time to intervene at super-speed.

@ Rob Schmidt, Matt B.

You are both probably right on the merits. Someone from the JLA would have been there to make sure this wasn’t a battle to the death. However, that is exactly why the vast majority of in-continuity superhero titles are terrible.

I mean, who cares why the Flash was selected as the second, because Superman was in space that month, Batman was inventing his latest Bat-Widget to defeat the entire JLA just in case Starro shows up? It is boring as Hell, does nothing to move the story forward and it has almost nothing to do with Wonder Woman. In other words, it is a recipe for tepid, uninteresting comics.

Wow, have fun sucking the fun out of comics, guys. Good job!

I think that whenever your position is predicated on what happened in the other SIXTEEN PAGES of the comic book, rather than the SIX pages being shown, then it’s really not worth complaining.

That said, if you’ve actually read the whole comic and you STILL have complaints about it, fire away – but to knock Rucka for stuff that obviously would have been addressed in the pages BEFORE this excerpt, well, what’s the point? This is the conclusion to a multi-issue arc with Medusa. The complaints are addressed in the story, but not in a six-page excerpt from the last part of a multi-issue storyline.

How is it that I hear this complain with this great moment of Wonder Woman but never when someone like Green Arrow has a crowning moment of awesome? I am glad Superman or Flash not get their primal colored knickers in a twist everytime a members of the JLA looses the first round against a baddie. Otherwise most Batman stories would end midway, when Superman flies in, punches The Joker/The Ridddler/Bane in the face and flies off with them in handcuffs.. That would be awkward for Batman!

this proved the warrior side of wonder woman having to sometime be used plus she uses her head more for remember that medusa was planning to turn everyone watching to stone so wonder woman decided to fight fire with fire with her by blinding herself. for ruka proved his respect for the characters even wonder woman.

Probably worth considering that had Supermand, Flash, Manhunter, or anyone else shown up, Medusa would have turned them to stone.

Questions like these are why many people don’t take comics seriously.

I’m sure Harold Bloom is sitting in his office, staring at a Wonder Woman comic, saying “if only the plot made perfect sense, then I could add this The Western Canon.” You know that all literary critics do is sit is discuss whether stories have any plot holes. You only a literary journal and it’s just pages and pages of plot details and their accuracy, but within and outside the story. Because when people are deciding whether to take a story seriously, of course their main concern is going to be plot.

” Isn’t it weird how they sort of get around making a scene too horribly bloody by making all the blood black? I dunno, maybe I’m squeamish or something, and I realize Medusa is a mythical person, but this kind of violence doesn’t feel like it belongs in Wonder Woman. ”

DC’s superhero comics have shown violence to the point of vulgarity in recent years, and tend to do so with blood in bold crimson red. This scene with Wonder Woman beheading a mythological creature is practically understated compared to depiction of scenes like Grundy ripping off a human Red Tornado’s arm, Black Adam dismembering his foes willy-nilly, or pretty much any page of Blackest Night.

I haven’t read the issue in question, but Rucka and Johnson portray the violence as messy and unpleasant without going for horror-movie spectacle, which I applaud.

I think Rob Schmidt should get a job writing the BORINGEST COMICS EVER.

Great stuff.

Medusa’s black blood leads into the follow-up where a black Pegasus emerges from her blood and then hangs around to help Diana for a while. For nitpickers and such criticizing how everything fits together so nicely for WW, if you read the rest of the arc and Rucka’s run, you see that most of the events are being manipulated by Athena in her power play for Olympus. Has Diana’s battle against Briareus (still blinded!) already been used for a cool moment?

Also, (SPOLIERS) the blindness lasted another 7 issues as she completed more challenges on behalf of Athena. Athena rewarded her by binding her own divine sight to Diana’s. I think this in turn made her immune to Max Lord’s mind powers so she could confront him and Superman in the tie-ins to infinite crisis, in which her own storylines were destroyed and she took a yearlong vacation.

The other thing is, if she took all those pre-cautions, she wouldn’t have had the hard core moment of blinding herself. To which, who knew Rucka was a Saint Seiya fan?

“To which, who knew Rucka was a Saint Seiya fan?”

Haha, I had been thinking that since I saw this posted, but thought it was too obscure. Glad to see I’m not alone (strangely, the connection didn’t click on my head when I read this storyline back in the day. Must be Hades and Lost Canvas keeping the series fresh now).

And just like Shiryu, the blindness thing came and went for Diana (ok, technically he is still blind in the manga, but they spend so much time in spiritual places, he might as well have recovered his sight for good).

To directly answer Rob’s questions, as everyone seemed more interested in insulting him then actually responding to his inquiries; yes, the story did establish that Medusa’s snakes spat venom – she used that venom to dissolve the metal of WW’s sword in an earlier scene, which also established that it was pretty potent stuff.

And second, Superman and the others don’t interfere because the Greek Gods are overseeing this battle – and no, that’s not an expression, I mean that the Gods are literally watching over this fight, and they aren’t allowing anyone to interfere in it. Ares set up a barrier around the arena before the fight began to make sure that no one would be able to enter, so the JLA can’t help, no matter how much they want to.

And for what it’s worth, Wonder Woman is just about as strong and as fast as Superman is, and Supes has a well-known weakness to magic – even if Superman can get in there, he would most likely fare far worse than Diana does here.

To directly answer Rob’s questions, as everyone seemed more interested in insulting him then actually responding to his inquiries

But was he really interested in the answers? It seemed to me like he asked the questions, decided that the questions had no answer, and then decided that was the cause of everything that was wrong in comics. It seems reductant to deal with the minutiae when his entire mentality is wrong.

Wow, wet blankets much, people? Brian just showed you a kick-ass sequence. Do you really imagine, when you read a cool comic moment for a comic book you haven’t read, that it’s always full of plot holes? Or is this about some bias against Wonder Woman as a character, or some disdain for Greg Rucka’s writing?

To answer a few questions from those who enjoyed this: Yes, Rucka’s run on this title was consistently great. (I’d say it’s easily the best since the original “Crisis,” including Perez’s rightly admired reinvention. Of course, I haven’t read the book with blind faith over the years — completely skipped John Byrne, for example.) It’s a crime that DC fired him from the title so they could plug into the dreaded “One Year Later” and hand it over to that TV writer, who couldn’t even deliver four monthly issues. Just last week, I was wishing that Gail Simone would use some of Rucka’s supporting cast, especially Ferdinand, the Minotaur-chef. Maybe she still will.

Well, I for one have never been behind the “Wonder Woman as hardcore” bit. I never understood how she just started sporting swords all the time. She’s a lot less interesting now that she’d rather stab people…why not just put Wolverine in a dress?

Denmad, I honestly thought she was going to let out a cheesy anime/manga attack phrase after she blinded herself and picked up the axe…”Amazoness Thunder Ax!” or “Rolling Bloody Guillotine!” or something…

I read this when it was new and I was taken aback by how STUPID it was. The only way to stop from looking at her was to blind yourself?

Seriously?

In Greek mythology, not only were the Medusa’s hair snakes venomous, but so was her blood. This may well be why it was black. However, it may be that Rucka assumed that his readers may have some passing familiarity with the concept of Gorgons, and so didn’t bother to mention this in the comic itself. Bad Rucka! Bad!

In Greek mythology, not only were the Medusa’s hair snakes venomous, but so was her blood. This may well be why it was black. However, it may be that Rucka assumed that his readers may have some passing familiarity with the concept of Gorgons, and so didn’t bother to mention this in the comic itself. Bad Rucka! Bad!

Or it could be that six pages out of a 22-page comic that is the final part of a multi-issue storyline doesn’t provide all the information given about all the characters.

In these six pages, Rucka also did not explain who Wonder Woman was. Bad Rucka!

I read this when it was new and I was taken aback by how STUPID it was. The only way to stop from looking at her was to blind yourself?

Seriously?

In both the comic and the comments to this post, it was established that Medusa has the power to compel her victims, against their will, to look at her. The only way Wonder Woman could counter that power was to make it so that when she looked at Medusa, she couldn’t see her. Hence, the initial blindfold, and when that failed, she did the best she could in the heat of battle.

I suppose you could argue that she might have taken a better precaution against this power of Medusa BEFORE entering the arena, but once inside, I think she did the best she could with what she had.

Rucka’s Wonder Woman run was fantastic. I think the thing I dislike the most about Infinite Crisis is the way it derailed his run on the book.

I really enjoyed the most of Rucka’s Run, up until he had to work in all the Maxwell Lord crap from Final Crisis. It was a shame he was booted off the book after Crisis. Drew Johnson was also a brilliant artist on the series, not having to resort to cheesecake shots in his art, and giving Wonder Woman the sort of grace that was needed in the character, and it was a really big part of her the way Rucka wrote her.

I’ve been meaning to pick up Simones run in trades.

A very underrated run, which I’m glad is spotlighted here.

Re “In both the comic and the comments to this post, it was established that Medusa has the power to compel her victims, against their will, to look at her.” Which makes less sense the more you think about it. Why doesn’t Medusa order Wonder Woman to take off her blindfold? Or to surrender? Or to stab herself?

Are you saying she literally has the power to compel someone ONLY to look at her? And not to do ANYTHING else? Wow…I think we’ve just identified the most limited form of compulsion ever to appear in a comic book.

And Medusa is speaking her compulsive commands. So why didn’t Wonder Woman cover her ears as well as her eyes? If she can’t hear the commands, she can’t obey them.

Re “Ares set up a barrier around the arena before the fight began to make sure that no one would be able to enter, so the JLA can’t help, no matter how much they want to.” That’s an entertaining challenge for a creative superhero, not an insurmountable obstacle. Superman or Green Lantern could blot out the sun by several means, which would put Medusa and Wonder Woman on an equal footing in pitch blackness. Or he could excavate the entire stadium, force field and all, and tilt it. He might not be able to break in, but he could throw the combatants into chaos.

Sure, these efforts might fail. Or the gods might strike back. The question is whether the JLA would sit around twiddling their thumbs. They’ve tackled Darkseid before, so why would they let the Greek gods cow them into submission?

Re “That said, if you’ve actually read the whole comic and you STILL have complaints about it, fire away – but to knock Rucka for stuff that obviously would have been addressed in the pages BEFORE this excerpt, well, what’s the point?” Obviously? Obviously not. In most comics, these issues are NEVER addressed.

I’ve read 10,000-plus comics and I have complaints about many of them. If this storyline was the exception that proves the rule, great. Go from the specific to the general and deal with the underlying point of my argument.

Re “Because when people are deciding whether to take a story seriously, of course their main concern is going to be plot.” Criticizing Wonder Woman’s lack of foresight and her companions’ lack of assistance means I’m criticizing characterization as well as plot. These superheroes are one- or two-dimensional fighting machines, so their stories seem superficial and juvenile. And I’m pretty sure Harold Bloom would agree with me, not you.

Re “Do you really imagine, when you read a cool comic moment for a comic book you haven’t read, that it’s always full of plot holes?” Your comments are a bit out of order. I read a sequence that’s full of plot (and character) holes first and conclude it isn’t a cool moment second.

“Or is this about some bias against Wonder Woman as a character, or some disdain for Greg Rucka’s writing?” No, my comments have nothing to do with Wonder Woman as a character or Greg Rucka’s writing. I’m a fan of George Perez’s and Phil Jimenez’s runs on WW. If you read my comments about the “cool moment” featuring Batman locking himself in a vault, you’d know my criticism is consistent. Stories full of plot loopholes are lame, not “cool.”

Re “I think Rob Schmidt should get a job writing the BORINGEST COMICS EVER.” I’ve written my own self-published comics, thanks. I’ll be sure to send a review copy to this site when the next edition is done. Then you can rip it to your heart’s desire.

P.S. There’s no such word as “reductant” used as an adjective. I think you mean “reductive.” And “boringest” isn’t a real word either. ;-)

I really like the idea of Wonder Woman going into the arena not only blindfolded, bout also with something to cover her ears.
Brilliant strategy.

“Are you saying she literally has the power to compel someone ONLY to look at her”

Frankly, I don’t remember the exact minutiae of Medusa’s power offhand, but I seem to recall that yes, it is limited to looking at her, since it’s connected to her whole “turn people to stone with one look” power, which is her main power.

“So why didn’t Wonder Woman cover her ears as well as her eyes?” That’s a fair point the story doesn’t address, as I recall. Perhaps Medusa’s power can transcend ear plugs? I dunno. I can also say that in all the times I’ve read this story, I never thought of that until now. Maybe that makes me dumber than most people. Or maybe I was just lost in the moment, enjoying it too much to think that critically about the circumstances.

“They’ve tackled Darkseid before, so why would they let the Greek gods cow them into submission?”

But that’s not what the story is about. This is a Wonder Woman vs. Medusa story, not a JLA story. The writer made a token effort to cover his bases by establishing there was a barrier preventing the JLA from intervening. Any further questions pertaining to it: (why can’t they break it? why aren’t they trying harder? etc.) can be answered by the catch-all “because the writer said so” or “because it’s not important to the point of THIS story.”

I’m reading this story because I want to see Wonder Woman fight Medusa, not to watch the JLA attempt to intervene on her behalf. Maybe that will be covered in the JLA book, because that’s a book that should contain stories about the Justice League. If the JLA book at the time doesn’t show the story from their perspective, I’ll just assume that while I was enjoying Wonder Woman take on Medusa, the JLA was valiantly trying to interfere and leave it at that.

I mean, if you want to get upset by the JLA not interfering in this story, then frankly, between Superman and Flash alone, there probably shouldn’t be a need for any other super hero in the DC universe. Every time there’s a mass breakout at Arkham, either Superman or Flash could round up the escapees in the time it takes Batman to warm up the Batmobile. But guess what? Whenever Batman is hunting down the Joker, I do my best to not think “jeez, Superman would have caught this guy already” and just enjoy the Batman story. If it’s a bad story, then it’s a bad story, but it would take more than the idea that Superman could have defeated Joker faster to make it a bad story.

Why aren’t Batman’s arms destroyed every time he swings over Gotham on a line?
Why do any battles with the Flash last longer than a microsecond?
Why did all that radiation in Marvel’s Silver Age give Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, etc. super powers instead of massive tumors?

Because comics are more exciting when they sometimes sidestep reality. Yeah, that gamma bomb should have killed Bruce Banner, but I’d rather read “The Incredible Hulk” than “The Realistic Pile of Ash.” I, at least, prefer to suspend my disbelief and overlook some plot holes for the sake of a fun, exciting read. Others don’t. To each his own.

In my version of the story, the JLA would join in a battle against the Greek gods. I’d curtail Wonder Woman’s trite one-on-one duel in favor of a cosmic epic. This may be too rich and complex (i.e., “boring”) for those who like superheroes as one-dimensional archetypes (good vs. evil…yay!). But I bet many fans would enjoy it.

Criticizing Wonder Woman’s lack of foresight and her companions’ lack of assistance means I’m criticizing characterization as well as plot. These superheroes are one- or two-dimensional fighting machines, so their stories seem superficial and juvenile.

There are character details which the writer intended to be in the comic, and character details which can be extrapolated at great length. The extrapolated character details clearly weren’t intended, nor do they inform the story. So why do you care about them? You decide to look at the extrapolated character details for seemingly no reason, just to shit all over the story. Just decide not to.

And how does “lack of foresight and lack of assistance” reflect “one- or two-dimensional fighting machines”? Surely a one-dimensional fighting machine would be really competent. Making a hero incompetent would add to the dimensions of their character, not diminish them.

I read a sequence that’s full of plot (and character) holes first and conclude it isn’t a cool moment second.

And that’s the point. You’re read them backwards. What counts in art is theme, what the stories say about the real world. You are too concerned with the literal meaning of the comic, and miss the forest for the trees. I mean, I get a great comic moment and you get a whole lot a plot holes. Who’s losing out here?

In my version of the story, the JLA would join in a battle against the Greek gods. I’d curtail Wonder Woman’s trite one-on-one duel in favor of a cosmic epic. This may be too rich and complex (i.e., “boring”) for those who like superheroes as one-dimensional archetypes (good vs. evil…yay!). But I bet many fans would enjoy it.

The JLA fans would probably be happy, but I’m not sure what the Wonder Woman fans would think when you make the Wonder Woman comic about the JLA. And chaotic doesn’t equal “rich and complex”. You say epic, let’s look at some epics. The Illiad, say, full of one-dimensional archetypes fighting single combats in the middle of battle. The Song of Roland, full of one-dimensional archetypes fighting single combats in the middle of battle. That’s what epics are about.

You want an epic battle, where all the characters on one side are fighting against all the characters on the other side, and all the characters are multifaceted, and all those facets can be seen in this giant, overlapping battle. I don’t believe such a thing can happen. Such a comic would so “rich and complex” that it would just become a mess.

“In my version of the story, the JLA would join in a battle against the Greek gods. I’d curtail Wonder Woman’s trite one-on-one duel in favor of a cosmic epic. This may be too rich and complex (i.e., “boring”) for those who like superheroes as one-dimensional archetypes (good vs. evil…yay!). But I bet many fans would enjoy it.”

I bet many fans would wonder why you’re writing Wonder Woman when you want to be writing JLA.

How Wonder Woman prepares for a battle is “extrapolation”? Don’t think so. Even if the story didn’t show a prep scene, it’s inherent in the idea of wearing a blindfold. The question is why WW chose to prepare that much but no more.

“The extrapolated character details clearly weren’t intended, nor do they inform the story.”

Wrong. The choice of wearing a blindfold but not taking other precautions clearly DOES inform the story.

“You decide to look at the extrapolated character details for seemingly no reason, just to shit all over the story. Just decide not to.”

I decided to apply my intelligence to a problematical scene that many writers could’ve done better. If you decide not to think when you read, good for you. Don’t waste your time telling the rest of us to dumb ourselves down to the level of children to appreciate comics.

“Making a hero incompetent would add to the dimensions of their character, not diminish them.”

Yes, if the story actually addressed WW’s lack of foresight. But since it didn’t, your point is irrelevant.

“What counts in art is theme, what the stories say about the real world.”

I thought you said characterization counted over plot. Now you’re saying theme counts over characterization AND plot? You might want to get your position straight before you continue.

Assuming you have a reason for changing your stance, thanks for your unsubstantiated opinion on the subject. My opinion is different. And I’m a professional writer by trade, which I’m guessing you’re not.

“I mean, I get a great comic moment and you get a whole lot a plot holes.”

I don’t poke holes in the moments that are truly great. As you’d know if you’d noted my lack of criticism of the 250-plus “cool moments.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them.

“The JLA fans would probably be happy, but I’m not sure what the Wonder Woman fans would think when you make the Wonder Woman comic about the JLA.”

As I think I said, my initial thought was to have WW prepare better for the fight. Then she could’ve triumphed herself without the silly plot device. The plot device that you seem to think embodies some grand “theme”–i.e., that isn’t just a typical comic-book gimmick.

“And chaotic doesn’t equal ‘rich and complex.'”

Who said anything about “chaotic”? Other than you with your lame attempts to belittle me?

FYI, my story wouldn’t be chaotic. You’re probably thinking of FINAL CRISIS.

“The Illiad, say, full of one-dimensional archetypes fighting single combats in the middle of battle. The Song of Roland, full of one-dimensional archetypes fighting single combats in the middle of battle.”

I doubt scholars would say the Iliad’s main characters are one-dimensional. And these are only two epics out of a thousand. Let’s look at “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Dark Tower” instead.

“You want an epic battle, where all the characters on one side are fighting against all the characters on the other side, and all the characters are multifaceted, and all those facets can be seen in this giant, overlapping battle.”

No, bright boy. I want a better handling of the WW battle in this “cool moment.” I invoked the idea of an epic only when someone said my comics writing would be boring. Quit wasting our time with this hypothetical trash talk over issues I never raised.

“The writer made a token effort to cover his bases by establishing there was a barrier preventing the JLA from intervening. Any further questions pertaining to it: (why can’t they break it? why aren’t they trying harder? etc.) can be answered by the catch-all ‘because the writer said so’ or ‘because it’s not important to the point of THIS story.'”

In other words, this is a typical piece of juvenile comic-book writing. And not a piece of literature worthy of a “cool moment.” So I guess we agree?

“I’m reading this story because I want to see Wonder Woman fight Medusa, not to watch the JLA attempt to intervene on her behalf.”

When I read WONDER WOMAN, I read it because she was a fully realized character in fully realized stories. I didn’t read it for any ridiculous duels to the death. And certainly not duels to the death requiring contrivances such as a force field to keep people out or a blindfold that conveniently slips.

“Every time there’s a mass breakout at Arkham, either Superman or Flash could round up the escapees in the time it takes Batman to warm up the Batmobile.”

Thanks for the news flash, sonny. Did you read the part where I said I’ve read 10,000-plus comics? How many have you read? Unless you’ve read substantially more, don’t bother telling me how comic-book universes work. I was probably aware of it when you were in diapers.

“Because comics are more exciting when they sometimes sidestep reality.”

Yes, and they’re often more exciting and interesting when they reflect reality. For instance, consider what happened when Rorschach tried to go it alone in WATCHMEN or Batman tried to go it alone in DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Other people intervened, the stories grew more complex, and comics literature is the better for it.

“Others don’t. To each his own.”

Tell it to Ted, Teebore. He’s telling us that I’m somehow reading comics “wrong.”

“I bet many fans would wonder why you’re writing Wonder Woman when you want to be writing JLA.”

I bet many fans would read this thread and note that Stealthwise and Matt B. were the first to question the soundness of this moment. They’d see that the subsequent criticism flowed from these initial comments.

Here, let me help you with your reading comprehension skills:

Dean: “You are both probably right on the merits. Someone from the JLA would have been there to make sure this wasn’t a battle to the death. However, that is exactly why the vast majority of in-continuity superhero titles are terrible.”

Rusty Priske: “I read this when it was new and I was taken aback by how STUPID it was. The only way to stop from looking at her was to blind yourself?”

Feel free to address these claims rather than forcing me to explain why a comic I wrote would be interesting rather than boring. No one cares about your absurdly hypothetical assertion about writing the JLA rather than Wonder Woman.

If you decide not to think when you read, good for you.

It is good for me, because I get to enjoy the moment, and you don’t.

Yes, if the story actually addressed WW’s lack of foresight.

So does WW’s lack of foresight make the character more or less one-dimensional? Please, make up your mind.

I thought you said characterization counted over plot. Now you’re saying theme counts over characterization AND plot? You might want to get your position straight before you continue.

The two aren’t mutually excusive. Theme THEN characterisation THEN plot. Simple.

And I’m a professional writer by trade, which I’m guessing you’re not.

Congratulations, so is Lauren Conrad. Is that supposed to impress me?

No, sorry, I forgot, Lauren Conrad could actually find a publisher, so I guess it’s not really fair to compare you two.

As I think I said, my initial thought was to have WW prepare better for the fight. Then she could’ve triumphed herself without the silly plot device. The plot device that you seem to think embodies some grand “theme”–i.e., that isn’t just a typical comic-book gimmick.

The ‘plot device’ represents determination. Without it the story would be about preparation. I’m sure Wonder Woman going over multiple checklists and then winning the fight easily will be both interesting and exciting.

He’s telling us that I’m somehow reading comics “wrong.”

And you’re not telling me I’m reading it wrong?

“Did you read the part where I said I’ve read 10,000-plus comics? How many have you read? ”

It seems kind of silly to me, but if you want to whip it out and compare sizes, I’ll oblige.

Right now I’m looking at the 51 long boxes that comprise my comic book collection. On average I find a long box contains about 300 comics, bagged and boarded. That’s 15,300 comic books I’ve read, give or take a few hundred that I’ve recently acquired and haven’t read yet.

That doesn’t include the seventeen shelves on four bookcases of graphic novels I’ve also read. Though once again, some of the more recent acquisitions haven’t been read yet. And some of those graphic novels do contain stories I also own in single issue form.

“Sonny”

Really? Wow.

“Yes, and they’re often more exciting and interesting when they reflect reality. For instance, consider what happened when Rorschach tried to go it alone in WATCHMEN or Batman tried to go it alone in DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Other people intervened, the stories grew more complex, and comics literature is the better for it.”

Agreed. 100%.

Dark Knight is a hell of a lot of fun and loaded with complex themes, and every time I reread Watchmen I take away something new from it.

But that doesn’t mean I want every comic I read to aspire to be Watchmen. Sometimes a simplistic slugfest is equally enjoyable for entirely different reasons. I’ll read Watchmen and enjoy its complexity, then read a chunk of Silver Age Superman stories and enjoy the zaniness and sheer madcap insanity of them. Sure, one is significantly less complex than the other, but I can enjoy both. Each has its respective place in comics literature.

My point is that for me, there is enjoyment in both the relative highbrow and the lowbrow. This series of posts isn’t, I don’t think, supposed to be “A Year of High Art Comic Book Moments That Further Comics Literature” they are “Cool Comic Book Moments”, which for me (and based on the variety of post we’ve seen thus far, Brian too, I’d say) means moments ranging from the complexity of Watchmen to the relative simplicity of Fin Fang Foom threatening to shove somebody down his pants or, even, a “duel to the death requiring contrivances such as a force field to keep people out or a blindfold that conveniently slips.”

Because for me, this moment was cool enough to transcend those criticisms. And I get that it wasn’t for you. Fair enough.

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