Comic-Con 2014: Meredith & David Finch Talk ‘Wonder Woman’

Brian Azzarello’s run on Wonder Woman has been one of the most unique efforts in DC’s New 52, and it definitely stood apart from the rest of the goings-on as its own strange of gods and monsters. Come November’s issue #36, Meredith and David Finch will be taking over the book, and we got to speak with them at San Diego Comic-Con. They revealed that Swamp Thing will play a role in their first arc, and they also addressed the recent controversy about David’s comments about how he didn’t want to say ‘feminist’ in regards to Wonder Woman.

Here’s our chat with the Finches, and some cool preview artwork from the storyline they can’t talk much about yet, given how far out it is and how many events DC has cooking up this year.

 

Wonder Woman #36

Wonder Woman #36 by David Finch

 

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Crave Online: What’s the relationship between feeling excited and feeling daunted about taking over Wonder Woman?

Meredith Finch: I’m incredibly excited to take it over, and I think if I really thought about what we’re taking over, I might be terrified, but instead, I’m really trying to focus on what I want to do with the character and the story that I want to tell and keep that central. So the mythos and the amount of history that she has behind her isn’t interfering and polluting the writing process as I go along.

So your own fresh take is not too concerned with what’s happened in the past?

MF: What I really focused on was the Wonder Woman that Brian Azzarello created, because that’s the Wonder Woman of the New 52 that we’re all familiar with. That’s what I focused on coming in and preparing for the book. It’s going to be that Wonder Woman with my own take on it, obviously, as a new writer.

Is there any mandate to make her a bit more integrated into the DCU, since Azzarello’s book was very stand-alone?

MF: We did not get a mandate from editorial to integrate her or not integrate her. They had a couple of things they wanted to see in the book and really, we were given free reign on what we wanted to do. It was my choice – our choice, I knew David would want to draw the Justice League at some point. I think the fact of the matter is she doesn’t live in a bubble. She lives in a very diverse world, and the Justice League is a part of her life. Superman is a part of her life. The Amazons are a part of her life. The gods are a part of her life. We wanted to try to address all of those things in a cohesive way.

 

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Wonder Woman #36 by David Finch

 

You’re bringing in the Swamp Thing right away. Was that another choice that David just wanted to draw?

David Finch: Well, it does actually fit in the story, but there’s a certain amount of truth to the idea. My only real story input is wanting to draw cool characters like the Swamp Thing and do double-page spreads. So you’ll see some of that influence, but it’s really Mere’s story.

I have noticed that you seem to render Wonder Woman as very young. How old is she in the New 52?

DF: As far as I know, she is 23 years old in the comic, so she’s fairly young, but it’s certainly not my intention to draw her looking overly young.

It’s somewhat striking, but perhaps I’m just more used to the previous, older version, and the New 52 is a different take.

DF: Yeah, and like with Superman – I feel like Jim Lee has the perfect bead on Superman’s age for the New 52, and it’s something I’ve kind of struggled with. Does he look a little young, does he look a little old? It can be difficult as an artist to really bang on exactly the age of a character.

MF: I don’t know too many women who would be upset because they looked too young. I know I’m not.

 

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Wonder Woman #36 by David Finch

 

Fair enough. But speaking of that, is there any clarification you’d like to make on that whole flap about you saying you didn’t want Wonder Woman to be feminist?

DF: Wonder Woman is a feminist icon. That’s a central, very important part to who she is as a character.

MF: I think nobody anticipated – the intention behind what David was saying was just misconstrued.

It’s just that there are a lot of misconceptions about what feminism actually means. It’s just about equality. But I digress, what’s the first story about?

MF: Issue #36 will be bringing a new villain into Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery, and that villain is going to be a character that people are familiar with, because she’s from pre-52 days. Beyond that, we’re going to be rewriting the character in a way that is very unexpected for people, and we’re so excited about it. I’m really looking forward to people seeing what we’re doing with the villain.

How soon can you tell us?

MF: December, maybe?

What can you say?

MF: I can say that this first arc will be focused a lot on her interaction with the Amazons and her new role as Queen of the Amazons and really how she’s balancing being the God of War, being the Queen of the Amazons with her mother, her life with the Justice League. So it’s going to be a story that, again, integrates all the aspects of her life, but with a primary focus in this arc on Themyscira and the Amazons.

Azzarello did have a fairly disturbing take on the history of the Amazons back in the early issues – will that kind of thing be a factor in the story?

MF: No, I’m not going to try to retake anything from what Brian’s done or go back to what he’s done. This is going to be building on what he’s established.

 

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Wonder Woman #36 by David Finch

How closely are you working with the rest of the Justice League creators to coordinate things, given how isolated this book was before from everything else?

MF: We have a great editorial team, and if there’s something that we need to know about that’s going on with the Justice League, I know they’ll absolutely let us know. I kind of let them do their job and really focus on what I’m supposed to be doing, which is writing Wonder Woman.

Do you remember your first experience with Wonder Woman?

MF: Absolutely. Wonder Woman was my first exposure to superheoes – the Lynda Carter show in the 1970s. We didn’t get a lot of shows, we didn’t have cable, but we got that. I loved that Lynda Carter Wonder Woman, and I think that she’ll always have a spot in my heart because of that, because she’s my first exposure.

Is that the same for you?

DF: Oh, sure, absolutely.

What’s the working relationship been like between you both so far?

MF: We’ve worked together since I met David. I sort of took over managing his convention appearances and business affairs –

DF: My business was in shambles. (laughter)

MF: – so I think we’ve hashed out already any conflicts and issues about working together in the last nine years.

DF: We really have different strengths and we’ve been fortunate that the things that I do well –

MF: I don’t.

DF: – are kind of mine, and the things that she does well are basically everything else except drawing.

MF: So we’re like two parts of a whole.

So did David inspire you to get into comics, or is it something you’d wanted to do since Lynda Carter?

MF: Writing comics… you always flirt with the idea because now I’m in the comics industry. Before I met David, I didn’t know comics existed beyond Archie and Veronica. But David was the one who really pushed me into writing, and I started with Zenescope – I’ve got three issues out now with Zenescope. That was a great way to get my feet wet, and then the opportunity presented itself to us, and I would be foolish not to take advantage of an opportunity to write Wonder Woman. Every day, I wake up and I count my blessings, and I really am working hard to tell a story that I hope readers really connect with.

 

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Justice League #1 David Finch Variant

Justice League #1 Variant by David Finch