Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman #1

June 2nd, 2011 by | Tags: , , ,

New York Times bestselling writer Brian Azzarello, author of The Joker and 100 Bullets, teams up with the immensely talented artist Cliff Chiang (Neil Young’s Greendale) for WONDER WOMAN #1, an exciting new series starring the DC Universe’s greatest superheroine. The cover to issue #1 is by Cliff Chiang.

I’m going to go on ahead and call this DC relaunch a success, because they’re getting me to buy a Wonder Woman comic for the first time in… years, probably, during a brief dalliance with the Greg Rucka run. It’s creator driven, obviously–Azzarello and Chiang a team that is too good for most any cape comics character–but here we are nonetheless. Also, I liked this bit from the last time Azzarello wrote Wonder Woman in Superman: For Tomorrow (two trades: one and two):

Couple other bits that seem interesting:

The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in MISTER TERRIFIC #1, the new series from writer Eric Wallace and artist Roger Robinson. The cover to issue #1 is by J.G. Jones.

I still think “third-smartest man” is a dumb gimmick (It’s on the level of “When a lady walks to me says ‘Hey, you know whats sexy?’ I say, ‘No, I don’t know what it is, but I bet I can add up all the change in your purse very fast!”), but I liked the Eric Wallace who wrote Ink and I like Mr. Terrific in theory and a few times over the past few years (Infinite Crisis talking with John Stewart, Checkmate, maybe a couple other spots). Titans, though, I’m not even remotely keen on. Fellas: wow me.

Rising superstar Francis Manapul, fresh off his acclaimed run on THE FLASH with Geoff Johns, makes his comics writing debut in THE FLASH #1, sharing both scripting and art duties with Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who can? The cover to issue #1 is by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.

Manapul draws nice.

One bit I’m not interested in:

Welcome to a major new vision of the Nuclear Man as writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone team up with artist Yildiray Cinar to deliver THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The cover to issue #1 is by Ed Benes.

Ethan Van Sciver? Thanks, but no thanks–I’m not the type of guy who can knowingly put money in the pocket of a Joseph McCarthy fanboy and known associate of Breitbart/BigHollywood types. Not a chance, son. Those people are human scum.

I’ll have fuller thoughts once the solicits hit in a couple weeks, I guess. I’m gonna be checking for that new Justice League by Johns & Lee, too. More details here.

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59 comments to “Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman #1”

  1. I like Mr. Terrific in theory

    Same here. I’ve always wanted to get into the character, but I’ve never felt like reading through JSA to do so.

    He was awesome in that 52 aftermath story with the Four Horsemen whenever he interacted with Batman.

  2. Bingo on the WW thing. I’ve never bought a WW comics for myself.

  3. Yeah Azzarello/Chiang WW, count me in for a few issues DC.

    personal feelings on EVS aside, him writing Firestorm is … :crossarms:

  4. I knew he was right-wing, but McCarthy fanboy? As in, “I’ll-ruin-the-lives-of-those-who-think-differently” McCarthy? “Not-unlike-Stalin” McCarthy? Yeah, that’s pretty damning.

    There’s not letting the author’s political views get in the way of your enjoying their work but there’s also not supporting vile people.

  5. Apparently, Brian Clevinger was supposed to be writing Firestorm, but that seems to have fallen through.

  6. but how do you like my superman suit design?

  7. I glad I’m not the only person who thinks a person’s politics can have an influence on whether or not I choose to give them my money. Every time I make that same argument, people either make it sound like it’s incredibly silly or a form of censorship. I recently had a conversation with Kurt Busiek about it via Twitter and he told me I was anti-free-speech, because I’m willing to “starve” artists for expressing their political views. Whatever.

  8. Ok, you can’t just call someone a McCarthy fanboy without some evidence or links. That’s just being petty.

  9. In all fairness it’s not like this is some obscure bit of out-of-context dialogue from years back. He’s always been very vocal about his revanchist political ideas. But, for the sake of argument since you obviously think we’re just making this shit up to besmirch the name of this fine creator, take a look at the first thing Google throws up in a search of “ethan van sciver mccarthy”:


    And here’s an interview where he talks about his collection of Joe McCarthy autographs:


    There’s a lot more of this, apparently, somewhere in the Byrne Robotics forums. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to wade through it.

  10. Clicked right on over here from CNN, hoping you’d written about this.

  11. @Basque

    I’m typically a big fan of Busiek, but he doesn’t understand what Free Speech is, in a social context. Artists are free to believe in what they want and say what they want, and I (as a consumer) am free to support anyone I want, for whatever reason I want.

  12. @anonymous: It’s not petty at all. I’ve had this site for years at this point, and I know that I’ve got readers who are smart enough to google something I mention, whether it’s what else Azzarello has worked on or whether Ink was any good.

    @Ivan: It’s gross, but a weird gross. Like, “Wait, really, THE McCarthy? Like witch hunts McCarthy?” But yeah, it’s all true.

    @Gavok: Yes! That was the other one. That book was great, particularly Batman putting Snapper Carr in his place.

    @Basque: If I was calling for a boycott or whatever, sure, I could see that. But making a choice to not buy something based on factors that surround it–that’s just being a human being.

  13. @david brothers:

    While you’re mentioning fascists who don’t need my money, I’ll throw in Bill Willingham and Orson Scott Card.

  14. I don’t really chalk up EVS’ politics to him being a vile human being and more to him just being a reportedly really really fucking weird person. Besides, Death of the Author and all that. If it’s good it’s good, and we have no real reason to believe that his politics will seep into the story when he’s co-writing with someone as liberal as Simone.

  15. After seeing his DC characters as the Runaways picture over on C.A. I think what I want now is Azzarello & Chiang working on that project. Wonder Woman leaves Paradise Island to explore Man’s World and starts up a punk band…

  16. That kind of crush on Joe McCarthy is a bit weird, but it’s no more dispicable than the admiration for Che or Mao, admiration that’s a bit more prevalent in the entertainment industry.

    Though there are oddballs and malcontents in every group, political conservatives aren’t scum, either on a personal level or for their beliefs.

  17. @Bubba: good thing nobody called political conservatives scum, then. Breitbart and his allies are lying, racist scum before they’re conservatives.

  18. I don’t closely follow Breitbart or his many sites, but I keep up with a few who apparently post there — Andrew Klavan, Evan Sayet, Adam Baldwin — and I don’t believe that description applies to them, either.

    But, my apologies for misinterpreting you.

    And I’ll add that I understand the instinct to boycott, but I also appreciate the professional exercise of talent, sometimes despite political beliefs. I really enjoy Alec Baldwin’s presence on Turner Classic Movies, and I hope fans of old-school pop standards don’t deprive themselves of Mark Steyn’s exquisite essays just because of his politics.

  19. If this is a good cross section I’m going to be trying out a lot of DC books in September. More than half of these titles are just intriguing enough for me to take a chance on.

    While I don’t intend to tell people how to spend their money, for me as long as the politics are not part of the art it won’t effect my purchasing decisions.

  20. I love Gail Simone and like Yildiray Cinar infinitely more than I think Ethan Van Sciver says dumb things, so I’ll check out Firestorm. Besides, I really like the concept put forth in the solicit. It makes it seem like Firestorm getting mashed up with a weird anime concept. Ronnie & Jason go all DBZ fusion style to create some kind of Guyver-like monster. I like it!

  21. I would say I am a “McCarthy fanboy” in that I believe he has been portrayed as some villain in modern context. If you were to look at a non biased view of history, you’d find that McCarthy was doing what he thought was right. Accusations that he falsely accused people are absurd. What benefit would that even have to himself? There was no ward given to the most communists someone could find. If you believe McCarthy was some sniveling boogieman, you also believe Edison came up with all his inventions on his own. I’m sure you’ll make some witty comment and go back to whatever you are set in believing, though.

    So you won’t buy my comic. I’m torn up, I really am. You’ll be missing out on a good comic, it’s your loss, not mine.

  22. @Ethan Van Sciver: So McCarthy just thought he was justified? So did Fredric Wertham.

  23. @Ethan Van Sciver: Ok apologist… News flash, everyone thinks what they honestly believe is right, people that believe in the Rapture, Y2K, flatlanders, scientologists. That doesn’t make them not retards or assholes.

  24. @Ethan Van Sciver:

    Did McCarthy actually root out any filthy reds? Or did he just ruin the lives of a bunch of lefty Hollywood Jews for cheap political points?

  25. @Ethan Van Sciver: I have here in my hand a list of 52 – a list of comic book reboots that were made known to the general public as being poorly thought out and yet which are still working and shaping policy in a day and date digital publishing initiative.

  26. “You’ll be missing out on a good comic”

    If your pedigree is anything to go by, I can confidently say I won’t be.

  27. @D. Druid: Yeah, I really had to struggle with Orson Scott Card, but he’s not even the relatively innocent type of bigot, the sort who just isn’t familiar with whatever they hate. I loved Ender’s Game as a kid, but I can’t do it now.

    @Bubba: There are plenty of people I don’t agree with politically whose work I enjoy. Frank Miller is one of the best who’s ever done it, as far as I’m concerned. We agree on some things (censorship and the evils thereof) and disagree on others (Islam and the evils thereof). He’s also explicitly Ayn Randy (his Batman alternates between Objectivism, authoritarianism, and sacrificial heroism, which I like a lot), a person whose politics I loathe. His craft is good enough that I can look past where we disagree.

    There are also people who probably come pretty close to me in terms of politics (a lil of this, a lil of that, season to taste) whose work I hate. Believe me–I’ve given this a lot of thought. I waffle, but I think that Breitbart is damaging enough to America that I don’t want anything to do with him or people like him.

    We actually recorded a podcast about it last weekend and it should go up Monday.

    (of course, now watch somebody reveal that my favorite creators are all down with that dude and make me have to choose, ugh)

    @Ethan Van Sciver: Thanks for stopping by. I’ve read history books, I’ve read about McCarthy, and I’ve read up on the McCarthy defense movement (for lack of a better phrase), and I remain unconvinced. Not because I like communism–I like having things too much to like communism–but because he was a liar and a cheat who put power over humanity. He saw an opportunity to gain and he took it, and damn the consequences.

    I’m missing out on Firestorm, but that’s not really my loss. There are a lot of good comics out there. I hope it does well for you.

    @Matt: i laughed

  28. @Ethan Van Sciver:
    I wonder if you make similar defenses for the Taliban.

  29. @brian_jorgensen: That wasn’t McCarthy. That was HUAC, which McCarthy was not connected to. Most of his allegations were about the State Department and the Army. It doesn’t make McCarthy right and I am definitely not a McCarthy apologist, but lets not assign him sins that are not his.

  30. @Bubba: Klavan, Baldwin, and Sayet come off as seriously hard hearted, spiteful, and downright mean in their columns. Though Baldwin is just kind of over the top (once in a while, he writes something pretty good). If you’re looking for a good example of BH, they ain’t it.

    As for Van Sciver, he’s shown in the past he’s got no problem with drawing books written by people who are 180 from him politically. Sometimes in his opinions he comes off as an insufferably smug prick, and drawing cartoons for someone as… well, unlikable as James Hudnall kinda sucks, but hey, he and Gail just might make beautiful music together.

  31. @Dan, I honestly don’t see that in any of their writing.

    @ibn, belief in the Rapture is prevalent enough among orthodox Christians through the centuries, including some quite brilliant thinkers, that it doesn’t disqualify a person’s intelligence or character. (FWIW, claims about knowing when Christ will return are ruled out of bounds by His own clear teachings.)

    @brian_jorgensen, McCarthy wasn’t completely off base. Bursting George Clooney’s bubble of pseudo-courageous self-importance, Mark Steyn wrote the following in 2006.

    “In Good Night And Good Luck, he’s produced a film set in the McCarthy era that could have been made in the Jimmy Carter era. That’s to say, it takes into account absolutely nothing that has come to light in the last quarter-century – not least the relevant KGB files on Soviet penetration of America. To take one example that could stand for Clooney’s entire approach to the subject, Good Night includes shocking scenes of Senator McCarthy accusing Annie Moss, who worked in a highly sensitive decoding job in the Pentagon, of being a Communist, and the heroic Edward R Murrow then denouncing McCarthy’s behavior.

    “But we now know, from the party’s own files, that Miss Moss was, indeed, a Communist.”

    McCarthy probably was overly ambitious and uncaring about the lives he destroyed, but so was Ted Kennedy, and I thinks it’s contentious to say either should be lionized.

    @david, same here, both on Rand and where I draw the line. For me, it’s probably not anything systematic, it’s more a case-by-case gut reaction.

  32. I just can’t wrap my brain around the “Fair Play” tattoo on Mr Terrific’s arm. Either he’s not smart enough to understand the concept of secret identity, or he’s so smart and/or bored he invented a disappearing/reappearing tattoo ink.

  33. @Ethan Van Sciver: “Accusations that he falsely accused people are absurd. What benefit would that even have to himself?”

    The same benefits that Fox News and the Republican politicians who use it to spread their false accusations have: winning popular support and votes via demonising the opposition.

    Like David, I’ve read up on the history of the era, and like David, I can’t give my dollar to a McCarthy defender. The few actual Communists he accused don’t justify the real and lasting damage he and HUAC did to the far greater number of people who were just trying to live their lives and earn a living. Not going to call for a boycott of your Firestorm book, but there’s no way in good conscience that I could buy it myself.

  34. I’m more concerned about Van Sciver’s lack of writing experience than his political beliefs. DC’s been letting a lot of artists write recently, and I wonder if it’s because they’re good writers, or if DC just can’t find anyone else. I mean, they’ve lost a lot of their best writers (like Brubaker, Waid and Rucka) since DiDio took over. I don’t know. I’ll try to be open-minded about all this.

  35. I’m guessing Mr. Terrific won’t have a secret identity, and I’m wondering, if he’s the third-smartest man, then who’s ahead of him? Bruce Wayne? Lex Luthor? Does Stephen Hawking exist in the DCU?

  36. Actually, hold up: Baldwin recently complained at BH that VDare.com was being “unfairly smeared as a hate site”. Uh… really, dude? That’s… that’s… really, dude?

  37. @Red Scharlach: @Nawid: class acts both of you

  38. @Dan Coyle, I can find no evidence that Adam Baldwin wrote any such thing about VDARE. The closest thing I could find is this…


    …where he writes that leftists denounce VDARE, but he didn’t say their doing so was an unfair smear. Instead, he made the point that some leftists share common ground with a VDARE contributor on the subject of population control, which Baldwin clearly opposes.

    @Prodigal, our supposedly post-partisan president claimed, absurdly, that Paul Ryan’s budget proposal would bring an end to America’s being generous and compassionate, and that it would benefit billionaires at the expense of children with Down’s syndrome and autism.

    Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a monopoly on demagoguery.

  39. @Bubba: Tu quoque arguments prove nothing other than that you’re willing to resort to logical fallacies. If you’ve got something to say about McCarthy, feel free to keep replying to me here; otherwise please don’t waste my time with attempts to change the subject.

  40. I still say Jim Lee stole my superman redesign.
    I came up with that suit 6 years ago! its too :damn: close!

  41. @Prodigal, you’ll notice that I didn’t deny that there is demagoguery on the right, but I apologize for changing the subject. Let’s go back to focusing exclusively on Joe McCarthy.

    Is he still an anchor on Fox News, or is he just an occasional guest? :smug:

  42. @Bubba: Perhaps you should try reading the comments you reply to once in awhile. Ethan Van Sciver asked what benefit McCarthy could have derived from making false accusations. I used Fox News as an example because they have made numerous false accusations over the years in order to drum up support for the GOP, one example of which being how they have claimed that Republican congressmen involved in scandals were Democrats when covering the stories. So you done trolling yet?

  43. @Hugeackman: If it’s yours, sue him and stop posting about it here. I don’t care.

  44. I understood your point the first time, Prodigal, and I’m not trolling. There’s nothing offensive in my pointing out that false accusations aren’t solely made from the right: there’s Dan Rather’s forged National Guard documents, Newsweek’s bogus story on Koran flushing, and the Left’s slanderous attempt to place the blame of the Arizona shooting on Palin.

  45. Just a heads up, that was not the real Van Sciver, that was a friend of mine trolling for attention. He just took quotes from actual posts Van Sciver had made and sewed them together. Apologies on his behalf.

  46. @Bubba: If you weren’t trolling, then http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=tu+quoque+fallacy should help you understand why what you have posted failed to have any relevance to my point. Either way, I’ll stop wasting my bandwidth and the other readers’ time by responding to you again in this thread.

  47. What a weird digression. In any case, the whole relaunch still feels very cold to me. I mean, I get that they’re trying to bring in new people and restart things that they feel should be restarted. And yes, they did it in 1985 and that turned out okay. But I also know that it took a long while to build back up the history from the 1985 reboot. It felt that Crisis gave the whole line a celebration of history, even though it was taking some things off the table for a while. The Guice Flash, Giffen’s JL, The Giffen/Baum Legion, Robinson’s Starman and Morrison’s JLA are still my favorites and none of them would’ve been possible without the shared history that juxtaposing the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age characters that DC either acquired or brought into the DC fold

    It disheartens me that they’re taking the tact of wholesale reboot when their competition works fine in their long continuity by just delivering stories that play with the toys given, not by reinventing the toy every few months.

    I know that this line is just a cover to test DC’s Digital wing which will place DC Comics on people’s IPODs, but I still don’t know why they just couldn’t give new #1s with a fresh start instead of a complete reboot. I mean, why do they have to 1) start off with many of their characters in disparate places (Superman walking, Batman vs. Leviathan, and Wonder Woman not Wonder Woman), then 2) giving us a few months of them being completely different people (from Flashpoint and such), and then 3) rebooting everything. Its like the anti-Crisis, where at least you had closure on characters and “Whatever happened to…” goodbyes to the silver age. There is no capper. Just a closure of stories that don’t even give the characters in the current line a chance to fight their fate in a “Crisis” event. Instead, they have a bunch of people I don’t care about fight eachother and fight characters really acting nuts before folding it all into brand new characters with brand new stuff.

    DC’s benefit, post-crisis, has always been its history. You could go anywhere in time in the DCU and find yourself with interesting juxtapositions and interesting characters. To take that all away again, instead of adding onto it, seems to take the main advantage DC had over Marvel.

    I don’t like reboots, just because it took great pains for DC to just bring back all the old stuff anyways. They’re just going to have a LSH problem all over again.

  48. @S. Zink:
    That’s pretty misleading (I’m surprised David didn’t check the source).

    I had a pretty good experience actually meeting Sciver a while back, but even then I knew his politics were all sorts of fucked up.

    @ Anonymous
    As someone whose family has actually met Taliban repercussions, people like McCarthy scare me just as much.

  49. Also I forgot to say, even if Moss was a communist, was she actually causing problems? Did she actually DO anything to have her life ruined?

  50. At this point I feel absurd just making a comment about comic books here … But, having enjoyed much of the political discussion above, I’m reeling back to my first reaction to David’s post, which was that the only thing I’ve heard about the DC reboot that excites me at all is the Wonder Woman team. Other things, like Mr. Terrific, I’ll happily check out in hopes they rock. But the one thing so far I’m sure to spend money on is this.

  51. @Guy Smiley: Please frame your interest in DC’s upcoming reboot in the form of a treatise on the pros and cons of the Whig Party…

    But yeah, you’re dead on–I’m excited for WW and willing to check out the other stuff. I’m curious to see how the other 40-some books shake out. Didio mentioned bringing back war comics, and well, that’s kind of a Thing for me. Hopefully the creative team is as strong as my love for the genre!

  52. Azz has not interested me, either from his cape comics or Vertigo so will be taking a pass. I agree with your tweet that Diana should have a shirt instead of the Jim Lee-rendered swimsuit cleavage, at least the Cliff Chiang treatment seems less pandering to comic fan cliches (since DC allegedly does want to bring in new readers, after all). I was still hoping for someone like Marjorie Liu handling this book. There are very little real surprises to these new lineups, shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Mr. Terrific might be a breath of fresh air, if it generally gets good reviews I’ll pick it up. The only book other than JLA will be Aquaman that’s a slam dunk I’ll buy, which so far is a surprise considering the hype. The this-isn’t-a-reboot reboot so far has been underwhelming.

  53. Hey David have you ever read JSA vs Kobra? It’s basically a Mr. Terrific comic where he and the leader of Kobra are in a constant game of oneupsmanship.

    It’s pretty good.

  54. @Debaser: Seconded on JSA Vs. Kobra.

  55. @david brothers: no, it’s called humour.

  56. I hope Mr. Terrific isn’t ditching the letterman’s jacket, that a was pretty cool look. Not feeling the tank-top bodysuit.

    I mean, uh, communism sucks? :effort:

  57. Look, I’m just gonna ask if no one else will: what the fuck is up with that red coloring all over Mr. Terrific’s mouth?

    Is someone pulling an Ebony White here or something?

  58. @Hugeackman: Keep your so-called “jokes” and your excess ‘u’s up in commie Canada where they belong!

  59. Wanna see a thread where Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver debate McCarthy? Here ya go:


    I’ll be happy to give my dollars to Gail Simone, even if Ethan Van Sciver gets some too.