The New York Times, where most really big comics news is has a brief item this am about best-selling author Jodi Picoult taking on Wonder Woman for 5 issues after former celebrity scripter Allan Heinberg leaves.
Jodi Picoult, a top-selling author, will turn her pen toward Wonder Woman, the comic-book hero published by DC Comics. Ms. Picoult’s most recent novel, “The Tenth Circle,” about a comic-book artist whose teenage daughter is raped, landed in the No. 2 slot on the New York Times best-sellers list in March. The first part of Ms. Picoult’s five-issue run of “Wonder Woman” is to be published next year.
Typical roll-out, eh? Not really.
First off, this news was scooped by Rich Johnston in Lying in the Gutters on Monday.
Who is writing the ongoing monthly comic “Wonder Woman” after current writer Allan Heinberg leaves the book in a few issues?
Why, if it isn’t my old friend and bestselling author Jodi Picoult.
This was quickly picked up on by Jen Contino and equally quickly answered by Picoult who obliged with a full length interview :
A factor that came in quite handy for Picoult’s indoctrination to the world of Wonder Woman. Picoult admitted she knew hardly anything about the character. “I knew absolutely nothing,” Picoult said. “I didn’t read comic books growing up. Luckily for me, though, I have a son who has a collection that has taken over his entire room. I asked him to help me learn about Wonder Woman. It was due diligence for me. He told me all about how she was born and her mother and her whole history. Then, he went into the enemies. When I first read Allan’s initial issue [Wonder Woman # 1] it didn’t make any sense to me, but after Jake gave me some background, I began to understand. Then, once I agreed to work on Wonder Woman, DC filled me in with everything I ever needed and wanted to know about her history. Plus, fans are fantastic experts on the character if I need another resource.”
“I feel bad for Wonder Woman,” she continued. “I think she’s gotten a bum deal and I want to change it. I have some thoughts on where she should be headed. I think she’s a good character. I want to hopefully bring humor to her, and more of a bit of a snappy repartee. She has that Superman issue: someone larger than life trying to slum it as a human. I think we need to see the tension of what it is like when she tries to be ‘normal,’ because no matter what she just can’t be normal.”
There are a few things of note about all this.
#1: Comics retailers are always begging for more best-selling authors in comics to bring in new customers…Picoult certainly fills the bill.
#2: By the same token, DC looks very very askance on talent that spills the beans on their own terms instead of waiting for the hand-crafted news roll-out. Evidently, when you’re a best-selling author you get to do interviews when and where you please.
#3: Once again, Wonder Woman lags behind, with a bold new direction that lasted all of five issues. Joss Whedon, you cannot arrive soon enough!