Wednesday, August 26, 2015

YOU COULD WIN A $25 GIFT CARD!

But of course the details on entering will be down at the bottom of this blog.

Worlds Apart, the fourth book in the Three Worlds superhero romance saga (the picture on the right is a link to buying choices), is starting to show up on various sales sites across the internet. I just found a listing of it in Japan, and there's another one in Great Britain on Amazon UK. If you don't find your favorite book site on my page, just Google for it or give a yell and I'll see what I can do.

Tomorrow the world!


The saga follows three characters: Jae Rallene, the last of his people, able to talk to devas and thus change the very structure of matter; Londo Rand, adoptive son of the legendary Maximus—together the two are the most powerful beings this side of Galactic Center, with your basic comic book uber-powers; and primarily Lina O'Kelly, a born telepath and teleporter, and trained psychic.

When he was editing this latest volume, my editor Anselm noted, "The beginning is too domestic." Too domestic???

I've put poor Lina (and the others) through H-E-double-hockeysticks in volumes 1-3. Now I wanted to give her (and the reader) a chance to breathe and enjoy the fact that she and Londo's last names have changed to "Starhart." I wanted to show Cinderella kicking back after the marriage, soaking up that beautiful Happily Ever After.

Unfortunately, Lina has a lot to learn about being the bride of a mega superhero. Not only is there a household to maintain (it doesn't help that the gigantic palace of a house isn't close to being finished yet, or that hubby Lon is adverse to cleaning crews for security reasons), but there are lots and lots of people who want to take her picture—and she's deathly afraid of cameras.

Then there are the nasty folks who aren't particularly fond of Londo in his heroic guise of Valiant. He's never had a weak spot before. Now they see Lina and think: Aha! Will they make her life miserable, or will they want more? Like maybe assault, torture, and/or murder?

Some of these people are backed by an awful lot of power.

It doesn't help that the two men who would defend Lina with their lives are on other-world missions. Or that Lina's powers have been negated by... Well, you'd have to read the story. (Ye Ed said, "What, again?" But I gave the person a good reason besides the fact that he's just a jerk with a stick up his... well. This will be his last hurrah, I promise.)

So the domestic bliss doesn't really stick around that long, though that portion is packed with glitz and glam—everything a Cinderella could wish for. And Montreal! Did I mention the glitz happens in one of the most romantic cities on the globe? Naturellement!

But sooner or later, everyone's got to get back to work. Lina's got a bigger job to accomplish than the vast majority of galactic citizens. Can she survive to get to it?

CONTEST CONTEST CONTEST!!!

Yep, YOU could win a $25 gift card! I'll make it to Amazon, iBooks (do they have gift cards?), Barnes & Noble... If wherever you want has gift cards and you win, you'll get it to there.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is make a comment to the question: Which superhero is your favorite? They can be from comics, movies, TV, books, urban legends... Make the comment either here or (since some folks have probs commenting on Blogger) on my Facebook pages: here or here.

OR be on my newsletter emailing list (sign up above the book pics on the right). I send out newsletters VERY rarely. Ah hates spam!

We'll make the deadline for comments, oh, Sept. 2, 2015, 2 PM Eastern Time. I'll get someone at the office to draw a name. (Someday I'll learn Rafflecopter or whatever it is.) Good luck!

(That cute Blue Beetle pic by Frobman on DeviantArt. Hope I'm okay in using it. If not, Mr. Frobman, please give me a yell.) (I paid for the credit card illo. Hope to be using it often!)


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finally: A New Book!

After slaving away for much longer than I'd estimated, I'm very proud to announce that Worlds Apart, Volume 4 of the Three Worlds superhero romance series, is now out! Yay! Let's see what it's about, shall we?

Returning to Earth was no honeymoon

The exciting THREE WORLDS superhero romance saga continues!


After the interstellar chaos of the past few weeks, Lina Starhart thinks she now has time to catch her breath and get used to the idea of not only being a bride but of being married to the galaxy’s most powerful man. But she has yet to learn what the job fully entails.

˃˃˃ Enemies all around

Not only does her famous husband Valiant have to bear the constant scrutiny of celebrity-watching networks, but he has enemies whose attention now turns toward Lina, whom they see as the hero’s primary weakness.

Can Lina step up to her new responsibilities and show herself to be a mega-level champion?
(That is, if she can survive that long.)

Cover illustration by Colleen Doran.
Rated R for violence and sexual situations.

Once again this is a super-sized book, but an awful lot goes on in it. I hope you'll like it. Click on the book cover to the right to see where you can find it. (I'll be adding links as they appear. Some websites take weeks to list books.)

What I need for this book right now are REVIEWS. I'm willing to give away free copies of the book to people who will post an honest review (even bad reviews are good!) on a major site like Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Interested? Give me a yell, either here or on Facebook.

Next week I hope to have a contest lined up. What would you like to see as a prize? A gift card? (To where?) Free books? (Mine or someone else's?) A little teddy bear? Interesting doodads? Believe it or not, I have a few jars of "breast enhancement creme" that I got in a grab bag from work. It won't increase bust size, but to judge from its ingredients list, it'll soften your skin like crazy.

Give me some suggestions! I'm ready to deal out some prizes, if you'll tell me what you want.

—Carol Strick

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Say U.N.C.L.E.!

I'm still waiting for the book to come back from the formatter, so let's talk about one of my all-time FAVORITE TV shows, okay? I mean, there's a movie coming out this weekend that purports to be an update of it, though the trailer seems more a period Bond flick with a double hero.


United Network Command for Law and Enforcement: U.N.C.L.E. This show ran on NBC from 1964 to 1968, and one of its characters, Illya Kuryakin, was my second True Love. (After that mop top Paul McCartney.) Ahhh!

UNCLE (let's spell it that way for simplicity) was a semi-well-known international law agency to the public. They knew about it, but they didn't THINK about it much. It was much like Star Trek (same network; slightly later time frame) in that UNCLE was staffed by a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic crew that hailed from all around the world. In that time of Cold War, the Russian Kuryakin could work side-by-side with suave New Yorker, Napoleon Solo.

(James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, contributed Napoleon's name and also that of April Dancer, who'd spin off to her own show, The Girl from UNCLE. That was ALL the input he had.)

Though the New York UNCLE office had a public entrance, on the other side of the building agents often entered through a curtained cubicle inside Del Floria's Tailor Shop. They'd turn the coat hook sideways and a secret door would pop open, drawing them into a snazzy modern office (staffed with miniskirted ladies, natch) and computer lights blinking on every surface. The two agents were given triangular badges with their agent numbers on them. If someone came in who didn't wear the badges, a "Whee-oh, whee-oh" alarm would go off, agents everywhere would grab their guns and come running, and the bad guys would be done for!

Leo G. Carroll played Mr. Waverly, head of UNCLE's US offices. Rumor had it Waverly never left the office, yet somewhere I believe there was a Mrs. Waverly waiting at home for him.

The show was supposed to have been about Solo, but it was 1964. The Beatles had just stormed America. Here was the exotic-accented Illya (David McCallum's still sexy as Ducky on NCIS) (Robert Vaughn is very authoritative on all those "We mean business" lawyer commercials) with his longish hair (for the time). He was into jazz, he was quiet, and he could do ANYTHING, be it athletic or technical or seductive.

Ahhh.

Vaughn's Solo was the ladies' man, the most Bondian of the cast. (Except when he was frugging with someone in a gorilla suit. The series developed an unfortunate case of Batmania in its third season, which very likely contributed to its only having four seasons. Check out more info here.)

UNCLE utilized cool spy gadgets, ahead of its time. Before Capt. Kirk ever flipped open a cell phone, UNCLE agents had pen communicators. Take the top off, insert it upside-down, and say, "Open Channel D!" This was all done to the beat of a cool blue bongo/flute/brass theme.

The series is on DVD and doesn't cost that much. A network I don't get often shows episodes. Just want to sample? It's difficult for me to choose one, but if I had to, I'd go with Season 1's "The Never-Never Affair," (episodes were always "The Whatever Affair") with Barbara Feldon (the future Agent 99 from Get Smart) as an UNCLE agent who doesn't think the mission she's on is the one she's actually on.

Have a blast watching these episodes. You'll be surprised at how many well-known guest-stars the series had (hey, it was immensely popular in its day!) and how many Star Trek actors showed up.


But if you can't watch, I can recommend two fabulous UNCLE books to you. They seem readily available on eBay. Both were penned by David McDaniel, who imbued his work with humor as well as action. Volume #4 is The Dagger Affair. When I visited San Francisco years ago, I HAD to see Lombard Street, because that's where a major scene in the book took place.

Then there's Volume #6, The Vampire Affair, which sees our Stalwart Heroes off to Transylvania.

Both Mad Magazine and DC's Inferior Five had great take-offs of the show!

Trust me, one way or another, you'll enjoy UNCLE!

Fingers crossed for the movie this weekend. Are you going? Do you have fond memories of the original? Do you know what "Thrush" was an acronym for? (It's revealed in Vol. 4!) (And also Wiki, if you like to cheat.)

Later note: Saw the movie. Enjoyed! I'll definitely be getting the DVD so I can watch it again. Illya isn't the zen-like Illya, but he's still cool. (He needs to have more Illya-type hair, though.) It was a CRIME, though, that McCallum and Vaughn didn't get cameos. The movie is actually a prequel, with U.N.C.L.E. not mentioned until the end credits. I look forward to more installments!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ack!

Arggh! Yeesh! @#!!

I'm in the middle of full-on edit angst attack.

The book was supposed to have been sent to the formatter a week and a half ago, right before my vacation started. I planned to use that week to paint, putter, and relax. Instead I spent said vacay in front of the computer, progressing word by word through the long manuscript.

And then I got hit by a hacker scam.

Folks, if your Internet suddenly freezes and you get a message from the browser company telling you that an Error 333 has happened, and that WHATEVER YOU DO, don't turn off the browser or your computer, or you may lose EVERYTHING... And that their support team operates 24/7 and will help you; here's their number...

Just force quit out of the browser. Proceed as usual. Maybe get some new anti-virus software.

"First Choice Tech Support" is a scam operation, according to all I could Google about it. There were a few places that said they were a ransomware site. They seemed legit enough to me, and it scares me that I was taken in so easily, when I've easily seen through so many scams before.

Anyway, I contacted the CC company (they've sent me a new card), deleted everything on my HD, and rebooted from my backup (which amazingly I had made just a few days before). Unfortunately, I lost 3 days' of vacation work on the book.

But wait—Dropbox (where I store my wips) has its own backups. Sure enough, there it was. Hadn't lost a keystroke, yay!

But I'm still editing. No time to do a real blog. Current schedule is to get the book to the formatter Friday or Saturday. He could take up to a week to get things done, but fingers crossed: next week's blog will reveal my latest novel!

Hope to see you then. In the meantime, protect your computer with a good anti-virus program. Make a backup now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Strickly some Regency books reviewed

I was in the middle of reading Helen Keller's first autobiography when I stalled out. It's a really good book, but I'd just hit a depressing section. Y'see, at the age of 11 (or perhaps 12), Helen was hauled before a court of inquiry at her school on the charge of plagiarism  For a story she'd written (not for school) when she was 8. Eight years old. At that point she'd only recently been beginning to learn words and how the English language was structured.

And yes, she ultimately discovered that a friend had read her a story about a year before, but she'd been so concentrated on learning the words and phrases of it that she didn't consciously recall the actual story. (She was a KID!) That is, until she was inspired to write a story as a personal gift to an adult friend about the changing seasons. He had it published (it never says if it was with or without her permission) and sure enough, people wrote in to say it was a close copy of another story.

The trial traumatized Helen. She swore it hadn't been done with any intention of plagiarism, and then confessed from her adult point of view that she often had problems sorting out original ideas from ones she had read, because (justifiably) she was in her own head so deeply and so much.

So I decided to take a break and searched for lighter fare. Jackpot! I came up with two fabulous summer reads that I hope you'll enjoy as well. They're not only Regencies by the same author, but make up a 2-volume series though both are stand-alones. There's one character they have in common, and he's dead when both begin. He's the guy bequeathing the castles.

When I was a kid I made the mistake of reading three of my favorite books, those in the "Witch World" series by Andre Norton (the only ones that had come out to that point), in one weekend. After that I have had a difficult if not impossible time of making it through any other Norton book. Ecch!

Once I read a slew of Leigh Greenwood books and discovered that he wrote all his sex scenes the same way, down to the same dialogue. (A lot of romance writers do this, I've found. Guess it saves time?) They were good books, and if you didn't read them in a row you'd never notice. Still, I stopped buying his stuff.

But now and then I still read several books by the same author in a row.


book cover for Romancing the Duke
Here we have Romancing the Duke, vol. 1 of "Castles Ever After," (2014) by Tessa Dare.

Izzy Goodnight is an almost penniless orphan who has had a castle bequeathed to her by someone who only recently became her godfather. She arrives fainting from hunger to the crumbling estate, to be dragged out of the rain by the castle's owner, the recently-blinded and overly proud Ransom Vane, Duke of Rothbury. Both obviously have different ideas about to whom the castle legally belongs. We soon discover that someone in the duke's employ has been embezzling—but who?

The story is complicated by a very funny use of cosplayers. You see, Izzy's dad had written an extremely popular series of medieval melodrama. Izzy gets tons of letters from fans wondering how things had turned out after the cliffhanger that was never finished because of Izzy's father's sudden demise. (And of course, dear ol' dad had never changed his will to provide her with support after he died.) Some of the fans dress up as the characters and travel to fan fairs to join others in reenacting the stories.

A lot of snarky fun ensues. And yet there's plenty of heart-tugging emotions to be explored as well.



After finishing that I decided to put caution to the wind and ordered the next book: Say Yes to the Marquess (2014), whose cover shows our heroine in dishabille for some ungodly reason.

This time our heroine, Clio Whitmore, has some money of her own, but a lot more is tied up with her dowry. She's been engaged to Piers Brandon, the Marquess of Granville, but as soon as he popped the ring on her finger he told her they had to wait to get married until he finished some foreign business.

That was eight years ago. Since then Clio has become the laughingstock of society, as "Miss Wait-More." It doesn't help that when she finally decides to legally end the betrothal, she has to do so through Piers' power-of-attorney brother, the once-champion fighter Rafe Brandon, who has been in love with her forever.

There's a host of crazy characters, including a sister and brother-in-law you'll want to throttle, and a cute but old doggie. The plot takes twists and turns as we dig deeper into our h/h's psyches and both discover that they're stronger than they thought they were.

Ms. Dare writes in a similar style to one of my favorite writers, Julia Quinn. Who doesn't love Julia? I don't want to give anything away plot-wise, so I'll leave this review at that. Both books are quite reasonably priced in their e-forms. I just wish the Avon formatters would provide more of an indent at the beginning of their paragraphs! If you have a vacation you have yet to take this year (or even if you don't), be sure to take one or both books along.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Still a Sensational review


Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #11-13 (digital). March 2015
Cover: Paul Davey, Editor: Kristy Quinn

“Not Included”
Writer: Adam P. Knave, Art: Matthew Dow Smith

Big Barda co-stars as she and Diana return from ?? after helping some Apokolips "Lowies," (should be "Lowlies") who sound like refugees. Barda thinks Diana was too soft on them, and that the Lowies/Lowlies don't understand compassion.

It's confusing as to which version of WW this is. She wears a mis-colored nuDC costume. She also queues up to eat a hot dog, which the WML era firmly established as a food Diana despises.

The two hear an explosion or something ("THRA-BOOM," though it's not in that large of letters) and race to investigate far across the city at the Museum of Alternative Energy. There they encounter a group of robot gorillas, which Barda takes great pleasure in battling. She keeps calling them "monkeys" instead of "gorillas," and this is used as a running gag.

"I always think your world will bore me!" Barda says as she uses her energy rod to blast the robots. "But this! Monkeys to punch!"

What exactly is she trying to do in the upper panel?
Diana determines this to be a distraction and eventually finds the Brain (a brain inside a robot casing) and M. Mallah, an intelligent, well, gorilla. (These two are from the Doom Patrol series. Are that many readers familiar with them? Didn't they deserve a better intro?) While Barda and Mallah punch and trade quips, Diana punches Brain's casing and a few chips fly off. (Yawn.) "Eat vortex grenade!" Brain yells.

Pretty much ignoring the resulting blast, Diana begins to reason with the Brain. Turns out he needs a new energy source or his brain will die. Diana proposes to give him such, but he will go to jail. She has to lasso Barda to get her to stop fighting.

As the two villains are carted off to jail, Barda returns to the museum to procure one of the gorilla robots to use for sparring practice.

A modest story, hampered by artwork that... well, it just wasn't there. The style shows promise, but action was not portrayed in any lively sense at all, and the inks were blobby. Combined with the wishy-washy story that had only the one joke and Barda's exuberance to support it... (A real shame that Diana came across as such a wet blanket. Is her being a peacenik so difficult for all these writers to script well?) I'd like to have seen an editor step in and guide the creators more. I think they're capable of a much better job than this.

"Generations"
Writer: Michael Jelenic, Pencils: Drew Johnson, Inks: Ray Snyder

A beautifully drawn (and inked) story shows us an Amazon origin story performed by Amazons under Phillipus' direction on the occasion of Hippolyta's birthday. Apparently they know little about their origins, because this story has Hippy existing well before the other Amazons. She sculpted clay bodies for the rest of her people, into which goddesses placed spirits from the Well of Souls.

Indiana Jones was the one who was involved with the Well of Souls. Post-Crisis Amazons came from the Cavern of Souls, aka the Womb of Gaea. Oh well, as long as they're making up so many other things...

Anyway, the story really plays up Phillipus' slavish worship of her "beautiful queen." The queen doesn't seem to return the feelings much, but rather is cooly polite about it all. It's quite an uncomfortable relationship between the two, imho.

Meanwhile, Diana has been tracking a phoenix for a long time. Finally it dies spectacularly, and the new phoenix that arises takes the ashes of the old one and forms a beautiful decorative egg out of it. Suddenly the Cheetah arrives. She throws a spear through Diana's shoulder. Even so, Diana fights her off.

Cheetah says that phoenix eggs can imbue immortality. She says Diana's looking a bit old (!), so she can understand her wanting one, too.


Then of course (for Sensation) we get a "what Hippolyta taught Diana as a child" scene, in which Diana gets some funny dialogue as she tries unsuccessfully to get her mother to say that violence is a good way to respond to a threat. (Hippy says, "As warriors, we must first be dedicated to peace," which makes zero sense.) (See "peacenik" comment, above. And below.)

Back in the present, Diana pulls the spear out of her own shoulder and of course (nuDC) blood is everywhere. As the battle progresses, Diana doesn't do much to protect herself (why?) and gets severely bashed as she tries to grab the egg. Then Cheetah demonstrates Rucka-era super-speed, running around so quickly she pulls the oxygen out of the air (wouldn't she merely be lowering air pressure? But I digress) even though fires (which require air/oxygen) continue to blaze all around.

Diana falls. She recalls her mother telling her that great battles fought "for something bigger than themselves" are done by the warriors who endure and who don't die too early. (Really?) Diana hauls herself up and then proceeds to beat the Cheetah to a pulp. (So we learn violence is ALWAYS the solution. We aren't supposed to notice that if Diana had just used her lasso to wrap up Cheetah when she first arrived, no violence would have been needed to subdue her. But then, that might have made for a shorter story.)

Let me digress for a moment. There is a classic "Hero's Journey" that many stories follow. A few years ago, I learned that there's also a "Heroine's Journey," which is a bit different along most major points, but especially the end. [And frankly, I've seen heroines follow the Hero's Journey and heroes, the Heroine's.] The classic Hero all too often gives his all—his very life—to achieve his goal. The classic Heroine lives so that she can continue to protect the group involved in her goal. In a comic like that of WW's, since she is an icon of women and feminism (and humanism, don't forget that), it might be nice for Hippy to have pointed this out. But she's too busy singing, "Onward Christian soldiers" to mention that, I guess. Back to the story...

Hippolyta arrives, wearing a version of her own (gag) WW outfit and flying a propeller-driven Invisible Plane.* She has seen Diana's plight in her magic mirror, and has come to rescue her. Hippy asks her what the heck's going on. Diana presents her with the egg and says, "Happy birthday."

Turns out phoenix eggs are special to Hippy because a phoenix died on Paradise years ago, and the queen took the experience as a sign that her prayers for a child would be answered.


From within her Magic Lasso binding, the Cheetah asks, "Is this 'egg' nothing more than the emotional equivalent of a 'World's Best Mom' mug?" Yes, it is. It has no power to grant immortality.

The Amazon mother and daughter embrace as the new phoenix flies off.

We've seen some slippery continuity problems, and the Phillie-Hippy relationship became much too syrupy/cringe-inducing on Phil's part, plus the art tries to get too fancy in places ("Just look what I can draw!") and loses the story—but it's only a few places. On the whole, this is a satisfying and beautiful (and often funny) tale.

Why do writers have so many problems showing Wondie as an INTERESTING non-warrior? All this means is that instead of tearing/beating up things and people, she fixes. She BUILDS. She LEADS (by example). That's pretty active. Exciting, even.

We had a hint of this in the first story, when Barda and Diana were returning from ?? after Diana taught the Lowlies a better way of living. Why couldn't we have seen that? Diana's primary theme is that of positive empowerment. Why not build stories around that?

I know all too many Wonder fans who think WW writers follow her around, recording her adventures and so they can't be altered. Sorry, folks. Stories are crafted. If you have a character whose primary theme is that of positive empowerment, you STRUCTURE your story to show off precisely that. You don't keep handing WW stories that make her seem like any other superhero out there (pow! bam! React to that danger after it's already started! Work as a solo act only! Don't involve civilians!). You don't keep doing flashbacks to her childhood (even though these are usually sweet; once in a LONG while is good, but once an issue is not). You don't have her stop action so she (or her mother) can preach for a few panels.

Insert Marge Simpson mutter here.

What did you think of this issue?
---
* Wonder Woman is NOT a legacy hero! No! Never! Not!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yet another Sensational review!


Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #8, 9, 10 (I’m going to quit citing print versions because I’m confused.) Jan. 2015 Cover: Adam Hughes, Editor: Kristy Quinn

“Ghosts and Gods”
Writer: Neil Kleid, Art: Dean Haspiel

Haspiel gives us a very cartoony but consistent Wonder version here, employing much more body language and true anatomy than such efforts usually give us. Nice!


Though the story then has a Golden Age feel, especially since Etta Candy is in WWII-hairdo, we find Ra’s al Ghul has stolen a Purple Ray device. He wants his army as well as himself to be immortal.

When he grabs Etta and then disarms Diana (he propositions her to be his bride, which of course she refuses), Boston (Deadman) Brand, the ghost who can temporarily possess humans, enters and takes over Etta. We get a running joke of Diana not believing this, and thinking that Etta has gone a little more wacko than normal. Diana needs to get the Purple Ray if not for anything else than to cure Etta.

Boston gets in some great lines, as when he refers to Rama Kushna as “Hindu goddess of pain-in-my-keister.” He refers to Ra’s as “Dracula of Arabia.” Eventually he gets Diana to believe him, and fills in the reader on his origin story: he was a circus aerialist (the DCU is full of ‘em!) who was shot. Rama Kushna grabbed his soul and “charged me to stay on Earth and bring my murderer to justice… [and] solve crimes and maintain balance in the universe.”


Boston accuses Diana of not believing in ghosts, and she tells him that she does indeed, but ghosts stay tucked away in the underworld. She doesn’t bring up such Greek myth/legendary figures as Patroclus, whose ghost haunted his beloved comrade, Achilles, to beg for funeral rites (book XXIII of The Illiad). Both heroes reportedly wandered the island of Leuke post-mortem, sometimes accompanied by other famous ghosts.

Boston starts naming the many ghosts of the DCU, including the Hawks, whom I thought in most of their versions were reincarnations and not ghosts. Oh well, I’m not a Hawks expert. (And note that many ancient Greeks like Pythagoras were firm believers in reincarnation or transmigration of souls. The Orphic religion, which is supposed to have influenced Christianity, is based upon the cycles of transmigration.)

Maybe Diana is speaking of the Amazons' beliefs, and not those of ancient Hellenes.

Anywayz. They come upon Ra’s in his lab, and Ra’s throws his stolen Magic Lasso over Diana. “We have an understanding, my lasso and I,” she says. I have no idea what that means, but since Ra’s never gave her an order, I can see how she operates so easily under her own will while still tied in it.

Boston can’t take over Ra’s because “His soul’s corrupted… He’s come back too many times!”

Ra’s touches Diana’s shoulder and she cries out in pain. ?? But she recovers and chases after him as he and his thugs escape. He locks Diana and Etta/Boston in the self-destructing lab, but the good guys escape hale and hearty from (I guess) the way they came.

Diana apologizes to Boston as she aims the Purple Ray at Etta, because she needs her back at 100 percent. The ray forces Boston out of Etta’s body.

“If I want to be an ambasador to the world, I must be open-minded to the world’s diverse beliefs,” Diana says, and Boston heads off to a “date with a giant head.”

A nice, action-filled story with people from various corners and eras of the DCU. A bit preachy—WW stories are that all too often, which I think is a big reason why some people can’t get into her—but funny as well.


“Morning Coffee”
Writer: Ollie Masters Artist: Amy Mebberson

Another cartoony story, this one in a very different, more modern style. (And it’s darling!) (Except for that star over Wondie’s belly button, that is. :-D )

Catwoman arrives at the British Museum in London to release a smoke bomb for diversion and then duck to underground vaults, where she deliberately sets off an alarm before pilfering something she stuffs in her duffle.

The police call Wonder Woman, who is yawning from lack of sleep. (She was up all night dealing with Cheetah.) Diana lassos Catwoman (this is the last we’ll see of the lasso in this story), and Selena mutters that everything’s going to plan.

The police aren’t equipped to handle Catwoman (she doesn’t have super powers, so ??), so Diana takes her into custody. They stop off at a coffee shop and Diana orders a hazelnut latte with five extra shots of espresso. !!!

“You drink away, DOUBLE DOUBYA,” the handcuffed Catwoman tells her as she glances at the sky. “Don’t mind me.”

Diana opens the duffle, only to discover the Golden Fleece in there. My gosh, did the British abscond with EVERY antiquity they came across? But from up and behind comes the Colchian dragon, guardian of the Golden Fleece and breathing flame. He is ANGRY.

Di grabs a street sign and wallops the poor dragon with it. Catwoman uses the diversion as an excuse to grab the Fleece and take off. But she in turn is grabbed by Diana, dragged back to the coffee shop, and ordered to buy coffee. Ba-dum-dum!

Funny, lovely little tale! Ahh.


“Attack of the 500 Foot Wonder Woman”
Writer: Rob Williams Artist: Tom Lyle

The art in this story is okay, I guess, though it fluctuates in quality. The truly consistent part of it is the awful hair. Suggestion to the artist: study Nick Cardy. Please. Sound effects typography could use some work. ONCE AGAIN we get a sermon as the basis for a WW story. Everyone, please turn in your hymnals to...

Years ago young Diana had seen only strength and warriors when she looked at the statuary honoring gods and honored Amazons.

Present day: Gateway City, CA. The Atom sits on Diana’s shoulder talking about a “growth field,” which apparently has made her several stories tall.

“I think I stepped on an old Buick,” she groans as she tries to adjust to her new state.

“We can buy the owner a new Buick,” Atom replies.

Hawkman and Hawkwoman fly by to attack Byth, a shape-changing Thanagarian who is now in the form of a winged lizard the size of Godzilla. Byth tosses the Hawks into the ocean, and Atom takes off to rescue them so Wondie can act. The growth field will only work for a short time.

She and Byth battle hand-to-claw through the city, winding up in the bay. Diana grabs cabling that Byth has snapped from the Gateway Bridge, and it begins to glow gold in her hands. “I don’t need to be on Themyscira to feel the powers of my mothers,” Diana claims. “I carry my home with me wherever I travel. Wherever I choose!”

I guess this is the conceit of how she’s turned the cables into the Magic Lasso. ??? (And what is it with "mothers" plural?) She binds Byth in it, and gets him to tell her the truth of why he is there. He confesses that he just wants to have a solitary home where he could be at peace. He shrinks to normal size. (The cables don’t glow any more.)

This entire cable bit could have been tweaked so that the real Magic Lasso (which Diana does not carry in this story, but she should have) could have “powered it up.” Ah, backseat editor is rearing her head again.



After she has him clean up the mess he’s made, Diana takes Byth to an island off Themyscira. Along the way, she notes that when she was a child she saw only the statues of warriors on her island, but now she sees the statues of the wise and the scholars beside them. “THAT is what my home was built on.”

She says that he may live on this solitary island and be whatever he wants to be there. Though this story seems to be set long after men were allowed on Paradise Island—and besides, this isn’t PI anyway—Byth notes, “I thought only females could stand on Paradise Island.”

“Yes,” Diana replies. “…And I thought you were a changeling?”

The story had some good bits, nice guest stars, so-so art.

But all in all, a very good issue!


So… What did you think of it?