TwoMorrows Publishing has just released volume twenty-nine in its Modern Masters series, which delves in depth into the work of the most respected artists working in comics today. The extensive publications shed a lot of light on the behind-the-scenes of your favorite comics and this one is no different spotlighting the work of Cliff Chiang.
Chiang and writer Brian Azzarello had accepted the duties of relaunching ‘Wonder Woman’ BUT were not aware of DC’s plans to relaunch its entire line as ‘The New 52’. So unwittingly they formulated an entirely different concept. The artist explains:
“Originally we wanted to embrace all of Wonder Woman’s publishing history, so she was a lot older than she looked. We were going to have her around in the 40’s as a crazy European folk tale fighting Nazi’s. Steve Trevor would now be an old man, and she would be there for him in the hospital as he died. But with the New 52 reboot all the WW II stuff went away which I missed. It would have been great to do a 1940s or 1960s Wonder Woman.”
Of course then, Chiang had dinner with Dan DiDio and discovered that their plan basically had to be scrapped as he was informed of the details of the New 52, particularly that the superheroes had only been around for five years. Chiang and Azzarello had to scrap all their plans and start over from scratch and the result was the ‘Wonder Woman’ comic we have today.
That wasn’t the only DC series he has worked on that didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. Chiang also drew the ‘Green Arrow/Black Canary’ series which launched shortly after the pair were married in the previous DC continuity. Originally, the book was to be based on the 80s TV series “Hart To Hart” only with superheroes. (Uh, yeah I had to look that up. It was apparently about a wealthy couple that spent their spare time solving mysteries.) However, crossovers at the beginning of the series prevented the two lead characters from interacting with one another.
What do you think? Would an older Wonder Woman who’d begun her career in the 40s, battling Nazis have worked better than the mythology seeped New 52 version? Would you have liked to have seen a jet-setting Green Arrow and Black Canary?
Chiang has one of the most attractive and unique art styles in comics. His Modern Masters should definitely be worth picking up. What do you think?