Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WONDER WOMAN #91 DC Comics, 1994

Boob War Week continues deep into a second bouncy week of mammaries and mayhem! Join me, won't you?

Okay, just take a look at that beautiful Brian Bolland cover. I swear, during this particular era of Wonder Woman comics (what I like to call the pre-Byrne era), sometimes I would buy this comic just for those Bolland covers. Who has cleaner lines and a more sure hand than that guy? The rotating artists during the “Messner-Loebs era” sometimes left a little to be desired, but the WW editors were smart and always had those kick-ass Bolland covers to sell the books. I know they got a couple extra bucks out of me that way.

If memory serves, this was the first issue for the hot new artist from Brazil, Mike Deodato, whose work really tipped Wonder Woman into full-on Boob War territory. There are more thongs in this comic than spring break in Cancun. Deodato even re-worked Wonder Woman’s classic star-spangled trunks into a more daring butt-floss design. Basically, they brought Deodato on board to seriously sex things up.

In this issue, William Messner-Loeb’s epic “Artemis” storyline really kicks into gear, as Diana is replaced as Wonder Woman by Artemis, a hard-ass Amazon with a gravity-defying chest and pony tail. In the origin story of Wonder Woman, Princess Diana, daughter of the unfortunately named Amazon Queen Hippolyta was chosen to be Wonder Woman by winning an all-female Olympic competition on Themyscira, the mythical island of Amazons. In this storyline, Themyscira schemes to have Diana replaced as Wonder Woman by another Amazon, so she holds another competition.

"You’ve just cranked the Boob War all the way to '11.' "

I think this comic is a good example of how, when it comes to Boob War, it only requires one creator – usually the artist – to tip the scales and send a book into titillation zone. For all I know, Bill Messner-Loebs wrote this script long before he even had heard of Mike Deodato. The script is not particularly gratuitous – I mean, it is about Amazons and stuff, but it’s not like there’s any mud wrestling or skinny dipping. When Perez relaunched the Wonder Woman series, he drew the Amazons in fairly chaste togas and tunics, nothing risqué. So it’s possible to produce a comic set on an island of Amazons and not have it stray into Roger Corman territory.

However, when you bring in Mike Deodato, who draws lean, muscular women with tiny chins, impossibly severe eyebrows, floating breasts, and with pert, thong-covered butts? You’ve just cranked the Boob War all the way to “11,” baby.

Here’s an example of what the Amazon Olympics look like, Deodato-style:

I would actually watch the Olympics if that’s what was involved. Half-naked chicks throwing big rocks? Sign me up. Although I have to critique the form of the hurdler in the panel at the top of the page, the Amazon on the left? What kind of hurdling is that? Maybe she’s counting on extra-buoyancy to carry her up and over the hurdle.

There’s some conflict and intrigue going on behind the scenes of the Thong Olympics – a renegade tribe of feral Amazons want to participate in the competition, which causes much aggravation and arching of eyebrows.

Here’s Artemis, champion of the renegade Amazons, about to throw down:

“Bitch, I know you just didn’t call me a backstabber.”

Fortunately, Diana intercedes – that’s her in the center with the rippling thighs. Do you see what I mean about Artemis’s pony tail? It floats around in the air with a mind of its own. How does she run around in the jungle with that thing, wouldn’t it snag on low-hanging tree branches?

Anyway, this is a great start to Deodato’s run as artist on the book, culminating in a big double sized finale to the storyline where Artemis, the new Wonder Woman, dies.

Ooops. Um, spoiler alert?


thekelvingreen said...

What makes the Thong Olympics even more exciting is that all the participants apparently have their eyes closed, which must make certain events quite difficult.

Greg said...

I wish they had kept Lee Moder. Whatever happened to Moder?

Tom Bondurant said...

Regarding Artemis' ponytail: it was the early '90s. Spawn's smart-cape paved the way for minds-of-their-own accessories.

Anonymous said...

Moder worked on the Legion of Superheroes for a long time...that was after his Wonder Woman run, wasn't it?

Jon Silpayamanant said...

Spawn's smart-cape paved the way for minds-of-their-own accessories.


Anonymous said...

Anyway, this is a great start to Deodato’s run as artist on the book, culminating in a big double sized finale to the storyline where Artemis, the new Wonder Woman, dies.

Ooops. Um, spoiler alert?

Actually, it really isn't, because she just wound up coming back. I recall seeing her not too long ago wearing an impossibly dental floss-esque outfit in Superman/Batman. Y'know, the Michael Turner issues.

Now there's some boob war for you. You've got Artemis, Wonder Woman, thong-wearing Supergirl, Harbringer, and an island of Amazons. Then later Big Barda appears in a bath towel. It almost makes Deadato's WW issues look prudish by the comparison.

Well, not really.

Anonymous said...

The one good thing about this comic was the cover. Bolland definitely rocks.

And patrick – Mike Deodato and Michael Turner DO have a lot in common. The abnormally-thin waists on the women they draw, for one thing. Deodato often gives his ladies some extra ribs too, one of Michael Turner's trademarks.

Anonymous said...

That last panel with showed us with Diana stepping between the battling Amazons clearly shows Diana copping a feel of Artemis' ... power girl...

Boob War was a stroke of genius.

Edward Liu said...

patrick sez: "Actually, it really isn't, because she just wound up coming back."

GAAAH!! IS THERE NO END TO THE SPOILERY SPOILERS???!?! Next you're going to tell me that Superman came back from the dead after they killed HIM back in the 90's, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't give th eart a "THE PAIN!" award, for really horrendous anatomy and contrived posturing. Like the one amazon leaping the hurdle? Oh, man.

Anonymous said...

If you decide to do a "Thong War" week, Deodato is the man.

Anonymous said...

You know, the funny thing is, under Deodato, the title sold as good as it did since the beginning of the Perez run way back when.

And The Challenge of Artemis, Loebs' final storyline on the book following this one, kicked all sorts of ass. Byrne's run afterward paled in comparison.

Chris Arndt said...

At the time Deodato didn't speak much English.

William Messner-Loebs definitely is not responsibily for the boobiness....

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