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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Daily Scans" journal:
One Perfect Moment - Pied Piper|
As requested, my personal favourite Pied Piper moment;
Tags: char: flash/kid flash/wally west, char: pied piper/hartley rathaway, creator: william messner-loebs, publisher: dc comics, series: one perfect moment week
Who else needs a resurrection/revamp for Rebirth?|
Tags: char: captain cold/leonard snart, char: flash/barry allen, char: flash/kid flash/wally west, creator: william messner-loebs, publisher: dc comics
Bluefall never told you what happened to Artemis...|
But I will...
So, Artemis is dead. But, since she was so popular, DC gave her a miniseries all about her coming back to life and kicking ass. Hey, that sounds nice. And William Messner-Loebs was writing it, he has some talent. What could go wrong?
( Oh, right, THE NINETIES. )
Tags: char: artemis of bana-mighdall, creator: ed benes, creator: william messner-loebs
The Many Faces of Barbara Minerva, part 2 (William Messner-Loebs)|
Ah, Messner-Loebs. I have some serious problems with his run, which are only exacerbated by the repellent atrocity that is the later Deodato pencilling. But one thing I've got to credit him with, he did some good work with Diana's rogues.
The thing about Diana is that she's too practical and effective for the Joker Problem. She kills monsters and she saves victims, and she's really good at both. Run into her two or three times, and she either cuts your puppet strings, converts you, or decides you're too dangerous to live and sends you the way of Drakul and the khunds. You can't really sustain "can't be reformed" around Diana.
So there's only three real ways to do a lasting Wondy rogue. One, you make the villain flat-out more powerful than her. Circe's a good example. She's a freaking god, and not the chump kind like Phobos and Deimos either (moly weakness notwithstanding). No matter how much of a danger she is, Diana's not killing her unless Circe lets her. But that's incredibly hard to write - how do you defeat a more powerful foe without diminishing that foe or looking stupid or pulling a deus ex? Perez and Jimenez were awesome at it, but not everyone can be.
The second way is to make rogues who aren't actually malicious or even necessarily dangerous. A genial, swashbuckling gentleman thief, for example, who would never dream of actually hurting anyone. Then you have the problem of explaining why someone on Diana's field of play should *care* - Angle Man seems like a shot at this, but it's hard to justify Diana giving a crap about some petty theft when she's routinely embroiled in actual wars and armageddon events. At her power level, it's actually harder to write a believable amiable rogue story than a well-done conflict with a Circe or Darkseid. (A Mxy-like magical prankster who doesn't ever quite understand the consequences of his "harmless" jokes could actually work quite well, though, adding humor and giving her a regular opportunity to showcase her wisdom and diplomacy; really, why doesn't she have one of those already?)
The third way, somewhat tricky to establish but relatively easy to maintain, is to complicate the fuck out of Diana's relationships with them. Make them her friends, make her owe them or need them or feel responsible for them, make sure that "can't be reformed" is close enough to true that the enmity never ends, but is also a conclusion that Diana's constitutionally incapable of coming to. This was WML's go-to method, and he was actually pretty good at it (...at least, on the conceptual level).
( As usual, I apologize in advance for the 90s Imagesque art. )
Next up: Deals with demons and yet another indistinguishable Generic White Cop with a Crush on Wondy, as we move onto Cheetah as perceived by ye olde John Byrne.
Tags: char: cheetah/barbara minerva, char: wonder woman/diana of themyscira, creator: mike deodato, creator: william messner-loebs, series: many faces of barbara minerva, series: world of wondy
When Wondy was Awesome, part 8 (Hawks and Half-Breeds)|
Diana's no Batman, with five different books devoted to her adventures at any one time. She's not even a franchise like Green Lantern, despite how awesome a regular title devoted to Artemis or Nu'bia could be*. But she is and has been an occasional guest in setting books like Action and a staple of team books like Justice League in many incarnations, and many of her better stories are from those titles rather than her own.
* Well, if it wasn't written by WML. Now let's never speak of Requiem again.
This one's from 1995, during the Era of Three Hundred Justice Leagues. Diana was head of the JLA and had been for some time - a position she is supremely suited to by nature, but was only intermittently suited to by portrayal, given that writer turnover was worse than League membership turnover at the time, and many of her authors simply didn't get Diana. And by that I mean either her personality or the fact that she could beat her entire League at once with one hand tied behind her back (well, maybe she'd need both hands for Flash), and how that needed to be reflected in group combat.
Unfortunately Gerard Jones was among them, and he was on JLA duty during this arc. But this story is a crossover event, and the other two writers involved - Beau Smith on Warrior and Messner-Loebs on Hawkman - had a better idea what they were doing. Overall I wasn't sure whether to include it, because it's not really a Wondy story, but there are a couple of moments here that I truly love, so here we go, once again, into outer space.
( 90s Image-influenced art warning. Prepare your goggles now. )
Next time: Artemis finally becomes a likeable character, and we get to see Cassie when she still was. Plus Etrigan rhyming, Neron gloating, and Byrne killing Diana off. (Spoiler: It doesn't stick.)
Tags: char: green lantern/warrior/guy gardner, char: hawkman/carter hall, char: wonder woman/diana of themyscira, creator: william messner-loebs, group: justice league of america, series: when wondy was awesome, series: world of wondy
When Wondy was Awesome, part 7 (Tacos and Traitors)|
Whatever else he may have gotten weird or wrong, I give WML this: he did truly understand at least two fundamental things about Diana. One, that for all that she's a princess, she doesn't have a haughty or judgemental bone in her body, and two, that she has a real talent for turning her enemies into allies and even friends (I especially like what he did with the Cheetah, making her a bit of a combo Magneto/Two-Face in her relationship to Diana - but not how he got there, so that one's definitely not in this series).
We see both of these character traits during the middle bulk of WML's tenure, a time I like to call "Wondy flips burgers." Admittedly she's actually working at a taco joint, but you can't tell me that makes a practical difference to the connotations.
( Of Taco Whiz and Donna Milton. )
Next time: Diana breaks atmosphere again to visit Thanagar and save the last Vuldarian in a Very 90s Crossover that somehow manages to be ridiculously fun regardless.
Tags: char: ares/dc, char: circe, char: white magician/thomas randolph, char: wonder woman/diana of themyscira, creator: william messner-loebs, series: when wondy was awesome, series: world of wondy
When Wondy was Awesome, part 6 (To Shatter an Empire)|
So, after Perez's tenure wrapped with the War of the Gods crossover event, the title was given to one William Messner-Loebs, aka WML for brevity's sake (she said, as though she were ever anything remotely approaching succinct). And WML's run on Wonder Woman was... let's just say a departure. It was wildly popular sales-wise, but I have a lot of problems with it personally. He had no real respect for anything that Perez had done; he discarded her entire supporting cast as soon as possible, did a complete, arbitrary retcon of the Amazons' history and Diana's parentage (which thankfully was ignored by subsequent writers), buried Themyscira in an inaccessible pocket dimension for three years (for most of which time the readers were led to believe it had been destroyed, and in fact the whole "it's not really gone" was probably a panicked retcon), and mangled Polly so badly when she finally did show up that the letter columns spent months convinced she was Circe in disguise. We're talking "War Crimes" levels of butchery, here, or worse, and an unfortunate foundation for all the crap that's come her way since. But let's not speak of that, as to this day it still fills me with rage.
And Diana herself? He made her a klingon.
I mock, but this is still one of my favorite panels of all time.
( A klingon IN SPACE!!! )
Next time: See Diana deal with rent, taxes and deadbeat dads, and meet the other Donna in her life. It's more interesting than it sounds, I promise.
Tags: char: wonder woman/diana of themyscira, creator: william messner-loebs, publisher: dc comics, series: when wondy was awesome, series: world of wondy