A few weeks ago we reported that ‘Breaking Bad’ director and producer Michelle MacLaren was in talks to take the helm on WB’s ‘Wonder Woman’ film, which was incredibly exciting news on its own. Today brings word that MacLaren has officially signed on to not only direct, but also formally develop the film, working with the writers to bring the iconic superhero to the big screen in her own solo movie.
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Azzarello and Chiang's Wonder Woman has been praised for putting forth an epic, cohesive and narratively self-contained superhero drama with flourishes of the urban fantasy that once defined DC's Vertigo imprint, but has also been criticized for the changes it made to Wonder Woman's core myth. What's not in dispute is that the pair have created the most memorable and talked about Wonder Woman story in years -- maybe in decades -- and to mark the conclusion of their work, we caught up with Chiang and Azzarello to look back at their run and talk about their novel take on the feminist icon.
When ComicsAlliance first heard that Gilbert Hernandez would write and draw a Wonder Woman story for DC's digital first Sensation Comics series, we were excited to see what the master Love & Rockets illustrator would would do with the character. We also assumed he'd be the author of the story about Wonder Woman as a rock star.
Anyone following Sensation Comics now knows that the rock star story was Margeurite Sauvage's excellent work, while Hernandez spun a tale about a brainwashed Diana going toe-to-toe with fellow heroes Supergirl and Mary Marvel. The first half of his two-parter, "No Chains Can Hold Her," is already available. DC sent us this exclusive preview of part two, available this Thursday.
In what is probably the best rumor of the week already, WB has apparently got their collective studio eyes on Michelle MacLaren to direct their upcoming 'Wonder Woman' movie. MacLaren is best known for her work on television, where she's directed some of the most riveting episodes of 'Breaking Bad' and 'Game of Thrones,' so she knows a thing or two about action and what makes for a compelling, complex character.
'Wonder Woman' will be the first solo female superhero film to grace the big screen since 2005's best-forgotten 'Elektra,' and with fans clamoring for a female superhero movie, it has the distinct pleasure of having a metric ton of expectations placed on its figurative shoulders. WB has made the right call in deciding to hire a female director, and one of the names that's been tossed round online is Lexi Alexander, who previously directed 'Punisher: War Zone' -- but you can go ahead and cross her name off the list because according to her, she's definitely not interested in the job.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Longtime ComicsAlliance fave Marguerite Sauvage had already established herself as a fashion and commercial illustrator with work for companies as varied as Marie Claire, Playstation, and Louis Vuitton, not to mention animation art and writing and drawing comics for the French market. It was only recently that Sauvage made waves in the US with her celebrated work in Sensation Comics, where she reimagined Wonder Woman as a contemporary feminist rock star. Just this week, Sauvage was announced as the artist of a new Thor story to be written by Lumberjanes co-creator Noelle Stevenson.
Who is Wonder Woman?
Is she a being of love adrift in darkness, as portrayed by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang in their recently ended run? A dowdy wallflower, eternally at war with her own glamorous alter ego for Steve Trevor’s affection? George Pérez’s goddess of truth? Robert Kanigher’s wannabe wife? Greg Rucka’s diplomat? Gail Simone’s savior? Robert Valley's hot rod heroine? The Justice League’s secretary? Superman’s girlfriend? Batman’s girlfriend? Lynda Carter in satin tights? William Moulton Marston’s herald of benevolent matriarchy or the sexed-up uberbabe I met as a comics-curious child? Or, in the most macro sense—the one that most of the public operates on, when it comes to Wonder Woman—is she merely the century’s most generic t-shirt symbol of girl power?
This week's creative team is comprised of longtime Warner Bros. Animation talent Michael Jelenic, best known for his work on Teen Titans Go!, Thundercats, and, of course, the animated Wonder Woman feature film. He's joined by veteran comics artists Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder, alumni of the famous Jolly Roger Studio, and colorist Lizzy John, whose work we've seen before in Archaia's line of Jim Henson Company comics and graphic novels. The cover comes courtesy of illustrator Paul Davey, whose contribution here represents his first comic book work, as far as I know.
As you can see in this exclusive preview, the team's story falls along the lines of the traditional adventure story with the kind of mythological, majestical scale to which Wonder Woman lends herself so well.
For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, the above infographic is an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment. ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together this timeline that reveals what the next six years of superhero movies look like, with some dates and titles still to be announced. The graphic will be updated as new information is released.
Comic readers are often annoyed by the outdated assertion, “but comic books are for kids!” As those of us within this culture know, comics today are usually made for and marketed to adults, especially single issues and superhero comics. However, comics, as a medium, should and can serve a vast variety of demographics. Publishers simply need to be ready to create the books that readers will read.
Most comic readers can point to some great comics for kids, including Smile, Bone, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Adventure Time -- but for many parents and young readers, there is a huge void in the comics that exist today. There are very few high-quality, positive, superhero comics for kids.