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The Mary Sue Interview: Gail Simone & Ethan Van Sciver On The All New Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman

Great Hera!

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Historically, DC Comics’ Superman and Batman have had at least two titles to their name each, but not the third member of their Trinity, Wonder Woman. Sensation Comics starred Wonder Woman for most of its run and while her solo title also began around that time, Sensation ended its run in 1951 and never returned. Until now. DC Comics have given Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver the rein to kick off Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, an all-new, digital-first anthology title which will celebrate the Amazon. We spoke with the creative team to find out their thoughts on the historical significance of the new title, what fun they have in store for us, Gal Gadot’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume and more.

The Mary Sue: What’s it like to be back working with Wonder Woman again?

Gail Simone: It is incredible. [laughs] Especially to be working on Wonder Woman with Ethan has been just so joyful and has been amazing. To see his art come in and just have it be so perfectly Diana is really, really cool. And then to be able to set her in Gotham, which is a completely different setting than we’ve ever done, was really fun.

TMS: Ethan, is it true you asked to work with Gail specifically on this project?

Ethan Van Sciver: Of course! Who else would you go to to write a Wonder Woman story where you can do anything that you wanted to? Gail Simone, to me, is Wonder Woman. I think that her run on Wonder Woman has been my recent favorite. I think it’s been fantastic, I’ve reread it a bunch of times and I always envied the artists who got to work on it. I came really close a few times because they needed to do a fill-in but it just didn’t work out. And this is my second chance.

TMS: Can you both talk a bit about what it’s like for you as creators to be taking on this particular title considering its history with Wonder Woman?

GS: Well it’s just incredible because like Ethan said, we were told we could do whatever we wanted and you know, we pitched it and they accepted it. So what we did, we took what we felt were the best versions of Wonder Woman, the best versions of Oracle, the best version of the villains that are in it, and just made it really fun. And it looks amazing.

EVS: I always thought DC should have a second Wonder Woman title based around the book that she originated in. I don’t know why there hasn’t been a Sensation title up ’till now, so I’m excited that we get to spearhead a new series where people who love Wonder Woman as much as we do will get to come in and have the freedom to tell the Wonder Woman stories that they want to tell outside continuity. It’s just a privilege, a great privilege.

GS: It really is. And we had talked about it a little bit when I was writing the Wonder Woman book but it just never really happened. So when I heard that it was happening I was like, ‘Oh this is just the best news ever, that there’s going to be a second Wonder Woman book.’ And then it’s going to have this much freedom, that you can tell stories that involve the Gods, you can tell stories that involve the Justice League. I mean, it’s just so open that it’s just going to be a blast. I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with, too.

TMS: You guys mentioned continuity, do you think it’s going to be an easier title for new readers to pick up considering it’s not tied to the continuity?

EVS: Absolutely!

GS: Yeah, and this story in particular, if I understand the format correctly, each story is a story in and of itself so it’s not necessarily a continuing story. So anybody can pick it up and read it at any time and hopefully get taken in by Wonder Woman like we are.

TMS: What do you think about the format? It’s a digital-first and will eventually be in stores but do you think that also helps gaining new readers?

EVS: Well, I’m a big fan of digital. I buy The Walking Dead and a couple of other titles digital, and only digitally, and so I like the idea of advancing that technology a little bit. And you know the book will be out in print the following week, but if you want to get a head start, if you want to get a sneak peek and read it before anyone else, you can buy it digitally and carry it around on your iPhone. I personally think it’s great. It’s a neat experiment.

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GS: Yeah, I think it’s great too, and I’ve been a big fan of it. I was at first worried about it maybe hurting the brick and mortar stores because they’re so integral to the industry. But what I’m seeing, and delighting by, is I think that people will pick up, especially things that are one complete story, and try it, and then hopefully that will lead them to read more of that same thing or research and find out other things they want to read or go into a store and buy it. If they happen to catch a sale or something on an issue of Justice League then they decide they like it, they can go to the store and get a copy of the other issues. I’ve very excited about that.

And I’m also interested to see, because of the color in this issue is so incredible, I’m interested to see how it looks on paper compared to digital because digitally it’s some of the best I’ve seen. I was talking before about how Brian Miller at Hi-Fi has really saturated colors in there so it’s really fun and it’s not the typical look of Gotham where there’s shades of black and grey only through the whole issue. It’s really colorful and really vibrant and digitally it looks incredible.

TMS: Of course we don’t want to know too much about the story, you did mention Oracle and Gotham. What can we expect from this Wonder Woman tale?

GS: Batman is out of commission so Oracle calls on, ultimately, Wonder Woman. She goes through other choices and she doesn’t feel they’re quite right so she decides on Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman takes the call. So she comes to Gotham. And there’s just really cool visual stuff that Ethan does. She’s got Gothamized weapons, she does some cool moves with the lasso, and basically she’s come to Gotham to try and set things straight and she’s got her own techniques and way of doing things which are completely opposite of Batman. And so we’ll see if they work or not.

EVS: I have one regret and I really wish…I did this on the cover but I didn’t do it in the interiors. I changed Wonder Woman’s eagle on her chestplate to a bat.

GS: I think it’s fun. For this story I think it’s fun. That’s when you see her lasso draped around the Gotham gargoyles…oooh, it’s so cool.

EVS: Did you notice it’s lasso shaped like a W?

GS: Yes! [laughs]

TMS: Once you guys got into this, I think it’s great that so many people are going to get to work with Wonder Woman, but you have this shorter story. Did you feel the urge to do more?

GS: Oh, yes. I was saying earlier that I was so happy getting all the pages in and so excited, and excited about writing it, and writing the last page and seeing the last bit of art come in, I was very remorseful because I would love to do more with Ethan. It was just so fun and looks amazing and we agree on who Diana is.

EVS: Absolutely. I’m hoping that this leads to something else. Let’s do another Wonder Woman thing together.

GS: I’m ready!

TMS: Let me just ask you one last question. First specifically to Ethan since you’re a more visual creator, what do you think of Gal Gadot’s Batman v Superman costume design?

EVS: Oh, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume looks fantastic! I know it might be controversial because the colors look a little bit muted but when I saw it I absolutely adored it. You know, a Christopher Nolan-style, real world take on Wonder Woman. It looks like an ancient Greek’s fashion evolved, only here it’s textiles. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m more excited than ever to see the movie.

GS: I think it looks really powerful and she’s got the attitude, the costume has the attitude, I’m pretty excited too.

TMS: Thank you guys so much!

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman is for sale online today for $0.99.

Previously in Wonder Woman

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” (TheNerdyBird.com). She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."