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Wonder Woman: 10 super sexist moments from her vintage comics

Wonder Woman arrived on newsstands in December 1941 with a secret mission from her creator, William Moulton Marston: represent “psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world,” as Marston himself put it.

Marston believed women to be inherently superior to men and his Amazon creation lived up to that view — but not for very long. Marston moved on and his creation quickly became a symbol for numbing sexism in a puerile forum — a woman in hot pants written and drawn by men for a medium aimed at boys.

The contradictions of the character are at the core of Wonder Women! The Untold Stories of American Superheroines, which is airing this week on PBS. EW talked recently with one of the filmmakers behind the documentary, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, and with her help, we went back through vintage Wonder Woman comics and found 10 jaw-dropping moments of surreal sexism. Here’s how we would describe each of them if we were caught in the golden loops of Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth.

All-Star Comics No. 12, 1942: The mighty Wonder Woman is invited to join the Justice Society… as the club secretary. She accepts, and Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite and the guys serenade her with “For she’s a jolly good fellow…” How thoughtful. Later the mightiest Amazon dutifully waits behind while the men go off to fight. Those men include Al Pratt, a.k.a. the Atom, a 5-foot-1 tough guy who has no superpowers and wears a weightlifting belt as part of his costume. READ FULL STORY

Han Solo as a lizard? The inside scoop on 'The Star Wars' from Dark Horse

The Jedi universe wasn’t built in a day and the construction process had some strange stages. If you thumb through the 1974 draft of the George Lucas script for The Star Wars (as it was called then) you’ll see a funhouse version of the most famous space epic that includes a warrior named Starkiller and a reptilian alien named Han Solo.

That version of Star Wars has been a relatively obscure artifact, but now it will get a spotlight of its own in a major adaptation by Dark Horse Comics that maps out a tale that’s both familiar and totally alien.

For the Oregon-based comics company, the project may be the great farewell to the Jedi mythology. Star Wars comics have been a core part of the Dark Horse’s indie publishing empire since the early 1990s. Now, after the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm, Dark Horse is likely to lose the license in the months ahead. We caught up with Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse, and Randy Stradley, the Dark Horse editor who has been the architect of the brand’s Dark Horse success, to talk about rediscovered universes and losing Empires. READ FULL STORY

Wonder Woman's invisible jet still off Hollywood's radar

Maybe it’s the invisible jet? Wonder Woman has been soaring as a pop culture icon since the Roosevelt era but she can’t get on Hollywood’s radar when it comes to a solo silver-screen adventure. This summer’s Man of Steel gives Superman his eighth feature film (tying him with Batman) but Wonder Woman is stuck at zero and at this point her best IMDB prospect is a gal-pal supporting role in the shaky-sounding Justice League movie.

We took the topic to filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (Going on 13) whose documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines is airing next week on PBS and has been the subject of community screenings around the country.

Entertainment Weekly: Superman and Batman will have 16 movies between them by the end of this summer and Wonder Woman can’t lasso a movie deal. The Losers, Elektra and Howard the Duck reached the big screen, how come Diana Prince doesn’t rate?

Kristy Guevara-Flanagan: Hollywood seems to be hesitant to bank on a movie with a woman as the lead. Hopefully something like Hunger Games will change the perception that movies about women don’t make money. There’s also a challenge find a director that will be true to the material but still bring it to life in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Joss Whedon did a good job with that on The Avengers. Since a lot of people have a hard time defining who Wonder Woman is beyond the costume — that presents a challenge.

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'Avengers: Endless Wartime': Marvel's new graphic novel era begins -- EXCLUSIVE

AVENGERS-ENDLESS-WARTIME

Marvel will start a new shelf of original graphic novels this October with the release of Avengers: Endless Wartime, a 110-page epic by writer Warren Ellis and artist Mark McKone that will represent a number of milestone firsts.

Endless Wartime will be the first Marvel title released simultaneously in North America, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Finland and Turkey. The book includes a code for accessing a digital edition via the Marvel Comics app and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop. The book’s biggest distinction, however, is the somewhat odd fact that Marvel rarely publishes major original graphic novels — more on that in a moment. But first a quick observation on Ellis: The man who dreamed up Spider Jerusalem and Planetary is putting together a pretty special year.

The Brit’s second prose detective novel, Gun Machine, hit the New York Times Bestseller list in January and his comics work will echo in two major studio releases this summer. There’s Iron Man 3 (which draws core concepts and themes from Iron Man: Extremis, the landmark 2005 story arc that pruned and primed the character’s mythology for Hollywood) and then RED 2 (the sequel to 2010’s RED, which gets its spy-versus-spy-retiree concept and its title from the old Wildstorm limited series by Ellis and Cully Hamner).

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TNA wrestler Christopher Daniels pins down the comics and wrestling connection

Daniels-Magneto

Fans of wrestling nationwide will have the pay-per-view pleasure tonight of watching Lockdown 2013, the latest crafted conflict from TNA Wrestling (and no, we looked it up, it actually stands for Total Non-stop Action). One of the big moments will be the tag-team title match, which will feature the preening Christopher Daniels and his partner, Kazarian, as they take on two other brawny, bellowing tandems.

At some point Daniels, a 43-year-old native of Kalamazoo, Mich., will likely strike a pose that he picked up in the Marvel Universe or in baneful Gotham City — that’s because the Lex Luthor look-a-like is a devoted fan of comics who has even entered the ring dressed as Magneto, the Marvel’s mutant master of magnetism. What are the ties that bind comics to wrestling? We asked the black-hat ringmaster to pin it all down for us.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Wrestlers seem to have a lot in common with comic book characters — they fly through the air, they make a lot of fans and enemies, the whole thing with tights. Do you think comics were a compass that pointed you toward your destiny? READ FULL STORY

ComiXology launches new portal for indie artists: EW's exclusive talk with artist Becky Cloonan -- IMAGE

Demete

Long ago, making it in the comic book industry used to be a relatively straightforward proposition: You work for Marvel, you work for DC, or you don’t work at all. But the rise of the indie comics movement has given more opportunities to comic book creators. Now, digital-comics platform comiXology is announcing a new portal called comiXology Submit, which aims to indie artists’ stories available on a wide variety of devices: iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8 apps. Submit, which was announced at SXSW, allows anyone to submit their work for approval at the comiXology website. (Creators split the profits equally with comiXology and retain full ownership of their work.)

For the launch, comiXology got 34 indie comic creators to contribute material. Entertainment Weekly spoke to one of the artists, Becky Cloonan, an Eisner Award nominee who last year became the first female artist to illustrate the main Batman title. (You can also scroll down for a first look at Cloonan’s contribution to comiXology Submit, Demeter.) READ FULL STORY

'Guardians of the Galaxy': To Infinite and beyond -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

In the search for universal insight, we bring you two cosmic questions from the Marvel Universe: Will moviegoers embrace the unknown next summer when Marvel Studios delivers the eccentric Guardians of the Galaxy film? And, in the uncharted frontier of digital comics, how far can Marvel’s Infinite Comics go with its ongoing mission to find new readers?

Time will answer those shrouded mysteries, but there may be hints to both in a new release that arrives today in the Marvel digital space: Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comics, the first in a special four-issue series (written by Brian Michael Bendis and posted bi-weekly — you’ll find exclusive looks at the art above and below) in the Infinite format.

READ FULL STORY

DC is killing off a major character this week (SPOILER ALERT)

The death of a major comic book character is one of those pop culture events that gives you a moment to sit back and really consider the big questions. Questions like: “So, is this a shameless marketing ploy, or is it an actual good story that will nevertheless be pitched as a shameless marketing ploy?” And: “How long until they bring him/her/it back to life?” Well, even cynical grouches — who remember the good old days when it seemed like Barry Allen might actually stay dead — might be a bit surprised by the news that DC is preparing to off one of their main characters. Which character you ask? Take a look — SPOILERS FROM HERE: READ FULL STORY

DC is making a new 'Batman/Superman' comic book -- Check out art by Jae Lee!

In June, DC will launch a new title focused on the Caped Crusader and the Last Son of Krypton. Batman/Superman chronicles the duo’s early days, when they meet and presumably don’t like each other until they like each other. USA Today announced that the comic will be written by Greg Pak and will feature art by Jae Lee.

The comic is mostly being kept under wraps at this point, but the timing of the launch is auspicious. The new Superman reboot, Man of Steel, hits theaters in June, so it makes sense that they would launch a new Supes comic book which happens to co-star DC’s most popular character. The fact that Batman gets top billing is intriguing — there was another duo comic, started in 2003, which ran for a decade under the title Superman/Batman. Both comics were preceded by World’s Finest, which is unfortunately not SEO-friendly.

DC released a couple of cool illustrations by Jae Lee. Check them out below: READ FULL STORY

Geoff Johns is leaving 'Green Lantern'

Geoff Johns has been steering Green Lantern for close to a decade now. His contribution to the character can’t be overstated. He brought back the iconic Silver Age alter ego Hal Jordan, and made the hero such an important fixture in the universe that a whole cosmic crossover, Blackest Night, emanated from Lantern‘s glow. (Johns is a big reason why everyone thought a Green Lantern movie was a good idea. Which, in principle if not reality, it was.) READ FULL STORY

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