The Gail Simone situation


Recently I have been writing about the issues DC Comics has been having with keeping its top talent. Previously it was the high profile departures of George Perez and Rob Liefeld. Both men left due to conflicts with the editorial staff. Then you had the resignation of Karen Berger as Executive Editor of the Vertigo imprint. In her case it may just be that she has done the job for twenty years and it is time for her to move on.

Now you can add the dismissal of Gail Simone to the list. This one more than any of the others is really setting of alarm bells amongst the fan base.

Unlike any of the others writers I mentioned, Simone was dismissed. Specifically she received an email from editor Brian Cunningham telling her that issue 16 would be her last issue of Batgirl. Since that was the only title she was currently working on this was basically her dismissal. Now of course she was rehired not two weeks later, but we will look at that and what it means in a bit.

There can be a lot of good reasons to dismiss a creator from a comic book, but none of the obvious ones are visible in this case. Batgirl is a strong seller compared to many DC books right now. In addition Simone has received critical praise for her run on the title. Another point in her favor is that she is a fan favorite author meaning a lot of people will pick up a book she is writing simply because she is the one writing it. Simone is also an advocate for DC and the new 52, promoting it heavily over social media and at conventions. Finally there is a PR factor; Simone is one of only three female creators currently working on DC titles. Since this is an area that DC has already received a great deal of criticism for, it is a risky move to remove the most high profile female creative talent they have.

So with so many positives in her favor what could have motivated DC to remove her? Right now we have no solid answer as DC has made no comment at all about either the dismissal, or the reinstatement. So we can only speculate as Simone herself has opted to take the high road.  On the dismissal she simply stated that she is disappointed to no longer be on the book, but made no comment about any other circumstance. On the reinstatement she just stated how happy she was to continue working on the title.

However if you look at this as part of a trend a picture does begin to emerge. Starting with the departures of Perez and Liefeld that I have commented on before, which both men cited conflicts with DC editors. Next you have stories of regular last minute changes to stories that have been turned in, with plot elements being added against the writers will. What we are hearing more and more of is editors dictating the stories that need to be written, making certain characters off limits, and making others mandatory. We also hear of editors getting into turf wars with each other. Finally we hear of writers being kept in the dark about plans for the characters they are writing, such as Simone not being told that Batgirl would be joining the Birds of Prey in their title.

I find Berger’s departure at this time interesting as well. She has been in charge of Vertigo for 20 years, and guided it during a period of amazing creativity.  Books that thrived under her tenure and guidance include Sandman, Fables, Preacher, Y the Last Man, The Invisibles, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Transmetropolitan. I’m sure there is a good chance that she just decided that 20 years was enough and it was time to step down. On the other hand, after so many years maybe she recognized something going on at the company that made stepping down now a good idea.  Trust me other companies would fall over themselves to hire her, and she would be in an excellent position to grab any talent leaving DC.

And talent leaving the ship is another sign of something wrong. In March Marvel has books coming out featuring creative talent that has been working strictly for DC up to now. That could be a group of creators simply expanding out, or it could be them getting set up elsewhere before it is too late.

But let’s get back to Gail Simone. There are certainly rumors going around about what happened, some based on the conjecture above. Basically the best guess right now was that Simone was not making the DC powers that be happy. She had her own ideas how she wanted the stories to go, and she wanted to push the envelope. She had been clear about wanting to introduce a transgender character to the Batgirl title. Also despite her hard work in promoting DC and the changes she is still one of the strongest advocates for better treatment of women in the industry, both as characters, and the flesh and blood ones working on the books. The best conjecture we can make is that one or more people higher up in the DC power structure decided they wanted her gone, and so that is what happened.

Was this a bad idea? Yes, it was an amazingly bad idea. This more than anything else shows that all is not well in the halls of DC comics. And even if they try to keep this lower profile with the fans, the talent is going to know what is going on. The worst case scenario for DC is that the really good creators jump ship, which will affect the quality of the books and ultimately sales. Add to that pressure from vocal fans about what DC is doing and it does not look good for their long term prospects.

I think that last part, the pressure from the fans, is what led to the decision to bring Gail back. Convention season is just around the corner. Fans have already been in an uproar about a lot of DC decisions. The public reaction to firing Gail Simone made all of that pale by comparison. I promise you that had she not been rehired that every panel at every convention would have asked what the hell is going on.

As a fan I sincerely hope I am wrong in these speculations. I grew up with DC comics and I want them to thrive.  But right now things I am seeing have me concerned. But I also have hope. The fact that fan outcry got Gail Simone rehired means we do have a voice. If we can use that to let DC know how we really feel about things maybe it will all work out.

I have a feeling the next couple of months will be telling.


Universal Studios VIP Tour Review

universal_studios_hollywood_001For our recent honeymoon trip, my wife gave me an extra surprise. Our honeymoon took us to Disneyland for what we named The Epic Disneyland Honeymoon. And it was epic, especially since we were there right at the beginning of their Christmas season programing. But this was not the surprise she had for me. No, the surprise was a special VIP tour of Universal Studios.

I had been to Universal Studios Hollywood several times, and even been to Orlando once; these trips were done as the normal entry in the park that everyone takes, with the rides and the famous tram tour of the back lot. But this was different, this was the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience. It cost nearly $300.00 per person special ticket. It is red carpet treatment and makes you feel like a big shot.

If you have followed this site for a while, it will be no surprise that I am a huge Universal fan. My favorite movie of all time is Universal’s Casablanca, and my love of Universal Horror is well documented. Of course the woman I married is well aware of this love of all things Universal. Thanks to this, she felt it was worth the money to make sure that our Honeymoon would have an event that would have special meaning for me. If you share this love of Universal, or really just movies in general, it is something you may want to consider sometime.



Now when I say ‘surprise’ I want to be clear that I knew about it before we got on the airplane; she didn’t just spring it on me that morning, which is a good thing because we needed an early start. Staying at the Disneyland Hotel meant we needed a rental car, and fortunately Downtown Disney has a car rental place onsite. This was important because the VIP tour has a specific start time, which meant that taking the shuttle was not optional. We got an early enough start that, even with Los Angeles traffic, we got there with 20 minutes to spare. Basically, you need to be there prior to park opening.

Valet parking was part of the package, and once we were parked we made our way through the Universal Citywalk to the Front Entrance of the park, checking in at the special VIP entrance to the park. The tour is not something you can just sign up for on the spur of the moment; with limited space each day, you must reserve your space in advance.  At check-in were given our special VIP badges, and then we were taken into the not-yet-opened park and escorted to the VIP lounge. Walking through a theme park, which you have visited several times, before it is opened is a very surreal experience; it was really the perfect start to a day full of surreal experiences.

The VIP Lounge is a somewhat non-descript building in the middle of the upper level of the park. It is like a small but very nice restaurant. We were greeted at the door and escorted to the patio where pastries, fruit, and drinks were available. There were two tour groups on the patio, each group consisting of 12 people. We were told our tour guide’s name was Matthew and that he would come to collect us soon. The first group left a few minutes before Matthew came to collect us. He was a 20 year veteran of Universal Studios, having worked both in the park and on some extra gigs around the studios. He was a great host, which I assume is a job requirement for leading the VIP tour;  it was clear that he knew everyone in the park, and had developed relationships with them.

The first part of the tour consisted of going on the rides. As a VIP tour we did not go through the regular entrances; instead Matthew would take us through side entrances and to the front of the line for every ride. He also told us that, after the tour was done, our badges would still get us front of the line access. We started on the Simpsons ride, on the upper level. From there we went to the lower level for the Mummy and Transformer rides. Jurassic Park was closed that day for maintenance. From there it was back up top to the Terminator 2 3D show (this attraction was really showing its age). Matthew told us that it was the last month of the show before it would be closed down and replaced with a Despicable Me attraction. He then took us back to the VIP lounge for a gourmet lunch buffet (which was delicious). After lunch, we went through the Universal House of Horrors attraction, their year round haunted house.

Next was the center piece of the whole tour: the back lot tram ride. The normal tram tour is done in a large multi-car tram that holds an enormous number of people; since our tour group was only 12 people, obviously we would not need that. Instead we got on a small tram that reminded me of a trolley.  For the most part, the tram tour was the same as the normal one, going through the backlot, discussing Universal’s history, and having staged events like a flash flood or the encounter with King Kong. But there was more to it; the normal Tram tour is around 45 minutes, whereas ours was over 2 hours. That extra time was spent doing things that made the whole trip worthwhile. Some of it was simple; since our tram was small, we were able to go places the big trams couldn’t. So we got to see where the sound stages for a lot of shows were. We passed by the CSI sets, which had their doors open a bit, although all we could see were the backs of sets. Right after that was the first thing that made the VIP tour stand out: our tram pulled up to a sound stage and stopped, Matthew had us get out of the tram and check in with a security guard after which we were taken into the sound stage. It was the set for a TV show called Parenthood, specifically a house set. I’ll be honest I have never watched this show, but that didn’t matter, this was a working TV set and we were being allowed to go in and see how it was set up and what they do to shoot the show there. Matthew went over various technical details of the set, describing how things are constructed in order to film the series, including the lack of a ceiling on the house to make room for lighting, the trees outside on wheels and the backdrop. I found myself focusing on details, like the books on the shelves. From there it was more tram tour, including the city street sets. We got lucky, and in the distance we could see a scene for CSI being filmed, my wife was very excited when she spotted Ted Danson on the set.

The next special treat was another stop. We parked outside of a very non-descript building and took an elevator to the top floor. This building held the Universal Wardrobe and Props departments; each of these departments is the biggest, of their kind, in Hollywood. Matthew pointed out that anyone can rent from them, even members of the public. The building was really just a normal warehouse with some offices. It was not glitzy, until you paid attention to what was stored there. When Universal makes a costume for a movie or TV show, they take it back when they are done and add it to their wardrobe inventory for rental. An example is that the battle armor from Starship Troopers was reused for the show Firefly. There were racks of clothes of all types. One row was ball gowns, another was chainmail, both fake and real, yet another was a whole row of Santa Claus outfits.  At one point we stopped while Matthew checked to see if we could go into the next room; the costumes we stopped by were from Hellboy 2, and my inner fanboy rejoiced.



Down one floor was the props department, which is really just one big warehouse. At first glance it would not seem terribly exciting, unless you really paid attention. The first thing we saw was an aisle of nothing but lamps, but right next to it was a rack of disco balls, then a row of telephones arranged by date (oldest to newest),  followed by a row of body parts. Matthew explained that prop masters from different productions would come in with slips containing details about the production company, and the dates various props were needed; they would go through the department and if they came to something they needed they would tag it, marking it as reserved for them, and the department would record who was taking what. The production company would be responsible for collecting the props they needed on check-out day. During our visit, several people were loading carts with props. Some of the props were just for display, as they were too iconic for use in other productions, such as the dagger from the Shadow.

While we weren’t supposed to touch anything, Matthew did take us to one spot where we could. These were demo props for the tour, designed to look dangerous but be safe (for example, a foam frying pan painted to look real that he let my wife whack me over the head with). We also got to play with breakaway glass. Going down a couple of flights of stairs (and I assume skipping a couple of floors of props) we were at ground level where they have larger props like furniture, statues, phone booths, and a giant shopping cart from Jackass.



Back on the tram, we passed the Jaws set, the Bates Motel with an actor playing Norman, and the Bates House. Beyond the Bates House was the crashed airplane set from Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. The Tram stopped here and we were let out again; we were allowed to walk around the crash set, take pictures, and even touch some stuff. (Interesting note – the Station 2 set from Jurassic Park is hidden behind the crash set.)  After that it was back on the Tram to finish up that tour.

Returning to the park proper, we went to the special effects show where we had VIP seating. After that, we were taken to the Water World Stunt Show where, again, we had VIP seating. It was here that Matthew said goodbye, as this was the end of the tour. After the Stunt Show we had one last treat, a Q & A with a pair of the stunt performers.

And with that, we had about 20 minutes left for shopping before the park closed.

So I would definitely recommend this. The first part is fun, if you are a theme park fan. The second half is an absolute blast if you are a film or TV fan, especially if you have an interest in how things work behind the scenes. The food in the gourmet lunch is excellent, and the tour guide and all the staff went out of their way to make sure we felt special. At times it felt more like a friend sneaking us in the back entrance than going into a priority line, and I mean that in the best ways.

If you have a chance to go to Universal Studios and you can afford it, I would highly recommend getting the VIP package.

I give the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience an A+

Saving Lois Lane

Lois Lane.

Everyone recognizes that name.  She is not just a geek icon, she is a cultural icon. You go up to any random person on the street and they recognize her name. Everyone knows she is the plucky reporter that is also Superman’s love interest.  Everyone knows that she and Clark Kent belong together.

Yes in the early days of comics she was often there so that Superman had someone to rescue, but as the medium evolved so did she. In modern lore she is a strong independent woman who is able to meet Clark as an equal and partner. She is also strong enough to give him support when the going got tough, and act as his anchor to humanity.

Well at least she was. All of the above was true until last year when DC Comics relaunched their universe with the New 52.

Now Lois Lane is barely in the books anymore, and her relationship with Clark is not a partnership of any kind. In fact she is not even a reporter anymore, she has been bumped up to a TV Producer at a news network.  And her journalistic ethics, which have always been a core of the character, have been eroded.

As for the romantic front, early issues in the reboot showed that Clark had feelings for her, but that not only did she not return those feelings, she was not aware of them. Also she has a boyfriend. He has only appeared in about five panels but he exists.

As one of the most recognizable characters in comics, and the most recognizable character in the Superman franchise outside of Clark himself it seems odd that she has not appeared on a single comic book cover since the relaunch.

So what is going on? Why is one of the core characters of one of the world’s most famous franchises being pushed aside and minimalized?

A lot of speculation about that has been going on, but the consensus comes down to this; DC wants to push Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple.

I know I went over this back in August when I was going over the news of the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing and how it felt forced. What I have learned since is that this was apparently part of the plan from early on and to help facilitate this, the feeling was that Lois needed to be diminished so that she would not appear to be in the way of this relationship.

DC also seems to be getting desperate in their attempts to promote the Superman/ Wonder Woman coupling. In the last few weeks it has been the focus of many polls and features on the DC comics’ blog and Facebook page. It is beginning to have the feel of “You will like this if we have to ram it down your throat.”

This part is just speculation. It is hard to say how long the Superman/Wonder woman relationship was being planned. It still feels like an executive mandate, and in the last few months DC has been known to change plans suddenly requiring rushed updates of issues.

But the diminishing of Lois does appear to be a thing either way.

But how sure are we of this. DC has said nothing explicit on any of this. This is where a bit of good old fashion fanboy detective work comes in.

First we have to look at the comments from the creative staff. The ones that I think back up the point the hardest to this are comments that have been made by Superman group editor Matt Idelson.

Back at San Diego Comic Con in 2011, when the relaunch details were being announced, Idelson referred to Lois as Superman’s “trophy wife” when explaining that the marriage between that two was no longer part of continuity.

Last August he made an even more definite statement on his opinion of Clark and Lois as a couple.

“Clark and Lois are not inevitable, and in fact it isn’t going to happen, at least while I’m on watch duty!”

He later had to walk those comments back; I’m sure due to fan backlash.

“Clark most definitely has feelings for Lois, but he not only sees her as unattainable but also unavailable. I’d much rather see the readers pining for them to couple up, with growing intensity, until we have no choice but make that magic moment happen. And in truth, I engaged in some ill-advised hyperbole there when I said they wouldn’t get together on my watch. I miss them as a couple, I really do, but I also know that good drama comes from complicating the path that leads to the happily forever after ending. My hope is that ultimately, we’ll all look back twenty years from now and see that without Lois in his life, that human representation is something he had to grow towards, and that the absence of Lois in his romantic life held him back.”

Idelson while the highest ranking member of the creative staff to comment, was hardly the only one.

Artist Rags Morales stated that Superman sucked since he got married and he considered it jumping the shark. He also said that Lois worked better as a Damsel in Distress and a pain in the ass.

Publisher Jim Lee had compared the phasing out of Lois as no different than changing the size of Superman’s cape.

Writer Andy Diggle has stated on twitter that he feels Wonder Woman and Superman make a better couple than Lois and Clark.

Also if you look at any promotional material and you will not find any mention of Lois.

And just for comparison let’s take a quick look at another long time supporting character, Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy is still fairly active in the books; in fact right now he and Clark are roommates. I won’t go into details why, but it does allow for some fun keeping the identity secret scenes. So Jimmy is in the books about as much as he used to be.

So it seems clear that reducing her role was always the plan. They couldn’t just make her go away like Wally West or Stephanie Brown, so they did the next best thing and made her a side character.

This brings up an interesting issue for next year. The new Superman movie Man of Steel is coming out. Lois Lane will be featured in it, played by Amy Adams. I assume she will be in her traditional role in this movie. For a company so interested in synergy between its divisions I am curious how Warner Bros will address this and in turn how the comics will deal with it.

In the meantime as a fan I am not pleased with these developments. Lois was a great character because she could be strong and brave in a superhero world even though she did not have superpowers. I feel her downsizing is taking away another role model character and not helping in the perceived boys club mentality of the industry overall. As a fan I want to do what I can to let DC know we do not want to lose her or see her as just a shadow of her former self.

So here is what I purpose. I would like to see a hashtag start making the rounds on twitter and tumblr; #savelois. If it can start trending maybe it will get enough attention that DC will know she has fans that are not happy with her current treatment.

So let’s see what we can do.

Creative Expression in Fandom

It should go without saying that fandom and geek culture produces a lot of passion. Lately I have been writing about the down side of that passion. While I think it is important to bring those subjects to light, I do not want to lose sight of what it is I and so many others love that brings us together.

So I thought I would talk a bit about the artistic side of being in geek culture.

When you go to a fandom event one thing you will find is that at their heart they are a celebration of some form of art. Be it comic books, film, animation, or literature, they all are based on a form of creative output. And this will carry over to the fans themselves. So let’s take a look at the ways fans will find to express their creative side.

Before I go on I want to make one thing clear: this is more of an overview look at these different creative areas. Each one could support an entire article of its own. In fact I could very possibly do those articles in the future. I am just doing this an overall celebration of creativeness in our community and hopefully as a jumping off point for discussion.

Ok, with that out of the way here we go.

At many conventions there will be an art show, where people will display artwork they have created, usually a painting, often for sale, or as part of a charity auction. Now this art is usually geared towards the specific theme of the event, but not always. Some of it will be what is known as fan art, a piece that is based on an already existing property. Star Trek and Star Wars for years were the dominate fandoms for this, but today it could be anything that has any kind of fandom. While it is easy for some people to dismiss this kind of art since the artist is basing it on something someone else already created, that ignores the time, effort, skill, and passion that go into its creation.  Many successful artists got their start this way.

Fanfiction is another creative activity that is prevalent in the fan community. I know that it gets a lot of flak for the slashfic aspect of it, which for the uninitiated among you is where a story will focus on a romantic pairing, rarely one that appears in canon, and often homosexual in nature. Now a lot of people think Fanfiction is something born of the internet, however writing stories about a favorite character or franchise is a long standing practice. There were published Sherlock Holmes stories at the same time Arthur Conan Doyle was writing.  As for directly fandom based fanfiction, there were homemade zines about Star Trek as in the 70s. Like with the artists there are cases of fanfiction writers making the transition into published authors, and I am not just referencing 50 Shades of Grey. One year at San Diego Comic Con I heard Denny O’Neil say that he gave Devin Grayson a shot at writing for him based on her batman fanfiction.

A variation of fanfiction is the fan film. This is one area where thanks to technical advancements it is no longer the realm of the really passionate fans that can get the resources together to make a film. Now with digital recording, editing programs and the means of online distribution whole groups of fans can get together to make films. I would break fan films down to two categories. The first is the film based on a franchise. There are groups that are dedicated to making fan films based on Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly.  The other type is the film based on a geek friendly premise, such as Gamers: Dorkness Rising, or the Collectibles.  The advantage of the second type is that it is something the creators can generate income from. The first type on the other hand is something that gets made because the people involved love the franchise, love making films, and want to combine them. I will admit this one is near to my heart as I was involved with a group of fan film makers and made films based on Star Trek, Doctor Who and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The one creative area of fandom that has gotten a lot of attention lately is cosplay.  I sometimes think the creative side of this gets lost in all the discussion of how sexy someone is or if the costume was appropriate for the convention. Again cosplayers tend to take two forms. The first is the person who looks at a fan event as a chance to dress up and comes in a costume that was purchased elsewhere. Usually this is a store bought Halloween costume. The second type is the person who takes the time to research the character they are making a costume of, find or make patterns for the costume and then take the time to make the costume. Technically there is a third type, a person whose costume is made for them by someone else, but I tend to think of them as just a variant of the second type.

It should come as no surprise that there are people who are of the type two cosplayers that look down on type one as poseurs. I am of the opinion that if someone wants to dress up as a character and the only way they can do so is to buy from a costume shop, than more power to them.

Getting back to cosplay as art, just go out and look up cosplay and look at all the variations you will see. Sure you will have the faithful reproduction of a Wonder Woman costume, but you will also have steampunk Wonder Woman, Victorian Wonder Woman, or as I saw once, a hybrid Wonder Woman/Slave Girl Leia.

Despite the flak that cosplaying is getting lately, it’s creativity has always been appreciated at conventions through the costume contests. These are often a highlight of most conventions. And again people who are really good at it can go pro. Here in the Seattle area there was a costumer named Dragon Dronet, who use to do elaborate costumes with impressive props. Based on his work at conventions he ended up working in Hollywood and is now a respected Prop maker, having worked on various Star Trek shows, Batman Returns, Alien Nation, and even casting puppets for Jeff Dunham.

I would be remiss if I did not take some time to talk about filking. Filking, or filk music, is basically fandom folk music. While it has never been my cup of tea, it has a huge following. And by huge I mean that there are whole conventions devoted to filking. A filk song can either be a parody of a known song with a fannish twist, or an original composition.

A form of creative that often gets overlooked in fandom is crafting. This is just making things with a geeky slant. You see them in most convention dealer rooms, next to the book stores, and video vendors. These are the people who are selling things they have made themselves. And it can be so many different things. Jeweler, costume pieces and accessories, ceramics, t-shirts, art prints. My wife is part of this, she makes soaps shaped like gaming dice, gelatinous cubes (complete with finger puppet monsters inside), and gems.  I have also seen perfumers, corset makers, and fitted fang makers. Obviously crafters who are vending at a convention are hoping to make a profit and even a living from their work, but this does not take away from their creativity.

The last type of creativity is one that is so close to me that I almost overlooked it for this article. It is the one I practice myself. It’s the people who blog, or make podcasts, or online videos about geek culture. Sure there is an argument that it really isn’t that creative as we are just commenting on what is out there, or reviewing geek friendly media. However it still takes time and effort to put these things together and like all of the above it comes out of a love of the culture and wanting to find ways to participate in it. Again some people are able to take this to the limit and go pro, just look at Chris Hardwick.

One thing I have heard a lot is people saying “I wish I could do that, but I’m not good enough”, to which I so “so what”?

Honestly, I think people should at least give something they want to do a shot.

When I started Fanboy News Network it was out of a need for expression. I had spent some time away from the convention scene and had been working on Community Theatrical productions, mostly behind the scenes. Those productions were great, but I realized that I was missing something, my own voice. I decided to start writing as a creative outlet, and using the old saying “write what you know” decided to focus on geek culture. And let’s face it, there are a lot better writers out there covering the same things I do. But I do not let that stop me. I am doing this because I want to, and I want to get good at it. The only way to do that is to actually write.

In the year and a half I have been writing Fanboy News Network I have learned a lot. I have learned what many of my writing habits, both good and bad, are and am working to improve. I have been able to find a writing voice. I have also joined a writers group, and I am now working on projects not directly related to the site.

So if you want to try any of these things, go for it. Just do not be put off by the idea that you may stumble, or even fail at first. This is part of the learning process.

And go out and try to find other people who share your particular interest. You may find mentors or at least a support network. At worst you’ll make some new friends.

And never forget there is an aspiring writer in Seattle that is pulling for you.

Another Wonder Woman Pilot

Here we go again with another Wonder Woman pilot.

CW, being a subsidiary of Warner Bros. has a long track record of bringing DC comics’ properties to the TV, or at least trying to. Obviously they had the 10 year run of Smallville and the 13 episode long Birds of Prey series. They produced a pilot for an Aquaman series. There were proposals for a show about teen titian member Raven and about the Grayson family before Dick became Robin that never got past the proposal stage. And of course you have the current series Arrow.

I’ll be honest, I am really apprehensive about the announced Wonder Woman pilot. It shares several traits from the other shows and pitches mentioned above that I think are not workable. On the other hand I had doubts about Arrow too and I have ended up liking that series.

Basically CW has some habits when it comes to DC shows that I am convinced are just there to annoy long time comic fans.

The first is that they seem to think that the best way to go is with a series that functions as a prequel to the comics, with Arrow and Birds of Prey being the exceptions. This started with the original pitch they made over a decade ago, a series that was going to be titled Bruce Wayne, detailing Bruce’s life between his return to Gotham City at 18 and becoming Batman. The reason the series did not get past script stage was that the WB movie division also wanted to explore Bruce’s development into Batman, which ultimately resulted in Batman Begins. On that point let’s go ahead and say that this turned out for the best.

So when Bruce Wayne was shut down they turned around and created Smallville. And as I have said before, at first this was not bad, but it went on too long and stretched the premise beyond the breaking point.

The Aquaman pilot used the exact same idea, only with Arthur Curry. I remember liking it when I first saw it, but in retrospect I think it would have ended up a weak premise for the same reasons that Smallville did not work long term.

The Graysons was just baffling as a pitch. Following Robin’s family and their adventures prior to their murder and Dick’s being taken in by Bruce. This would basically be a series where we know that it will end with the murder of the main characters. Also if we go with the general idea that Dick becomes Robin around 13 than the age you have him at the beginning of the series would set the lifespan of the show. All this of course assumes you intend to remain faithful to the comics, which Smallville showed was not necessarily going to happen.

We now add Wonder Woman to that list, as the pitch is literally the same as Smallville, but with Diana coming to America and I guess learning what it means to be a hero.

Another issue with DC shows on the CW is the names. I think the only show that got to keep its title from the comic was Birds of Prey. Besides Smallville and Bruce Wayne, You had the Aquaman show being called Mercy Reef, Green Arrow became Arrow, and now Wonder Woman’s show will be called Amazon. I assume this is a marketing issue with the film division in case they want to develop a movie using the characters, but it does seem like they are running from the franchises they want to develop.

So here is my main issue with the new stab at a Wonder Woman series. They are using a format that fans are going to be apprehensive about. The whole “Diana before she was Wonder Woman” is at best only sustainable short term. If they are going that route I hope they do not take the “no flight, no tights” mandate that ultimately hamstrung Smallville.

I think if they are going to do this they make it the arc for the first season, with the finale having her become Wonder Woman. From second season on have it be like Arrow, the beginnings of her career.

Do I see that happening? No I do not. I’m afraid they will get locked down into the prequel mode like Smallville and the problems that it brings.

On the other hand if they manage to stay true to the characters roots and persona maybe it will be worthwhile, or at least wipe out the bad taste left by the last Wonder Woman Pilot.

Two things I want to address real quick before I wrap up.

First, the whole Iris thing, where a casting sheet was released stating that the character’s name is Iris along with other back story alterations. This is a not uncommon practice when casting for a very well-known character. It is done in hopes of getting an audition that is not just an attempt to fill the preconceived notions about the character. Rest assured her name will be Diana in the series as has been confirmed by Geoff Johns.

The other is the Justice League movie. Obviously it is being developed and there is a general assumption that Wonder Woman will be in it. How will that work? Good question, and there are a lot of ways to do it. One is they just assume that audiences can deal with two different version of the character at once like when Superman Returns came out during Smallville’s run. Another is that they do not include Wonder Woman in the Justice League movie. This all of course assumes that Amazon makes it past pilot stage.

So there we have it. Let’s hope that DC can give their most iconic female character the adaptation she deserves.