Sunday, December 18, 2016

On the Shelf: Two 70's icons come together

Dynamite Entertainment & DC Comics' latest collaboration pairs Wonder Woman '77 with The Bionic Woman in what will be the first of two miniseries featuring the Lynda Carter version of the Amazing Amazon. Andy Mangels, noted TV & comics historian and writer, is at the helm for this one. A collaborative effort between the OSI & IADC, the latter being the government organization Diana Prince worked for in the final season of Wonder Woman will lead the two heroines to face one of Diana's oldest enemies, and, in all probability, some fembots. I've already figured out which of Wonder Woman's enemies appears in this miniseries, even though the villain is shrouded in silhouette in the opener.

Unfortunately, the artwork looks like they were trying to avoid having issues with blurring in the course of printing. Mangels' script may be a little predictable, but should be a fun ride.

Rating: B-.

Meanwhile, let's check back on some recently concluded miniseries:

Wacky Raceland (DC) started off with promise, and even went so far as to reveal that there was more to Dick Dastardly than the scheming bumbler of yore. Writer Ken Pontac gave Dastardly a wife & son who were sacrificed, if you will, so that Dick could save his own skin well before the apocalyptic disaster. Unfortunately, Pontac's plot spun off the rails soon after. Yes, he gave Dick a win in one of the races (at long last), but there were other unpleasant shocks. The disembodied Announcer, revealed to be a female voice in the opener, was revealed in the finale as the disembodied brain of Pat Pending's late wife. Pending became the latest character to be race-flipped, for no other reason than, well, just because. Pontac was making it up as he went along, and sacrificed the goodwill of Wacky Races fans along the way. By the end, Leonardo Manco's artwork couldn't save the book from diving off a cliff. DC, apparently, saw that not everyone was interested from the get go, and cut the book to a miniseries to cut losses. However, Dastardly, likely reverting back to his traditional look, will return in his own series in 2017.

Original rating: A.
Final rating: C-.

The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane (Dynamite), written & drawn by Matt Wagner, turned out to be a bit of a bait & switch. Of course, Wagner wasn't planning on killing off Margo after all, but the idea was to make this more of a psychological thriller to get inside the head, if at all possible of The Shadow. There are places you just can't go with pulp heroes like The Shadow, and that was one of them.

Final rating: B-.

Batman '66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel (DC/Boom! Studios) saw the comics debut of made-for-TV villain Lord Marmaduke Pfogg (played by Rudy Vallee on Batman) in a first-ever collaboration with Mr. Freeze to aid what we all thought was the daughter of the Cybernauts' creator. The twist ending is sure to please fans of both Batman & The Avengers. Up next for the Batman '66 franchise will be a team-up with Wonder Woman '77 (see above), debuting next month.

Final rating: A-.

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