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DC Comics news: Azzarello/Chiang run on Wonder Woman ends and "Gotham" casting

A new creative team may be writing the Amazon by Hallowe'en!

Azzarello & Chiang to end their "Wonder Woman" run this fall!

At the very least, that is roughly the end date for the run on "Wonder Woman" written by Brian Azzarello and drawn (mostly) by Cliff Chiang. The duo took over the book during the "New 52" relaunch of DC Comics' entire line of comics back in September 2011, and have remained one of few creative teams to remain on a series that debuted as a part of that original launch since. In an interview with Newsarama, the duo not only talk about their next arc, but about the end of their run on the book in general.

In this interview, Azzarello makes it clear that this finale to his run on "Wonder Woman" is not due to any sort of editorial interference or any other horror story, but as a part of his original "three year plan" for the series. This has been a plan which has seen the altering of Diana's origins, the drastic overhaul of the Amazons (at best) and the addition of the rest of the Greek pantheon of gods (as well as some of Jack Kirby's "New Gods" characters like Orion) as part of a long epic which has included the death of Wonder Woman's major nemesis, Ares.

Azzarello, best known for Vertigo's "100 Bullets" and a run on "Superman" with art by Jim Lee, has seen his share of controversy during his tenure at the helm of this series. His decision to make Diana a demigod daughter of Zeus instead of having been born from a clay statue made by Hippolyta as well as his decision to "reveal" that the Amazons got their weapons by seducing and slaughtering seamen and then selling their male children to Hephaestus sparked quite a lot of controversy from long time fans as well as feminists. His subsequent decision to not feature Diana's romance to Superman as introduced by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee in "Justice League" likely led to DC Comics commissioning an entire side series to feature it (Charles Soule's "Superman/Wonder Woman"). The series debuted and sold within the top 25 sellers list in 2011, but by now their run is selling roughly on par with how it sold in 2008-2009. Since Azzarello and Chiang first began in September 2011, one can presume that September 2014 may be around when their run on "Wonder Woman" comes to an end.

Considering that Wonder Woman has been cast in the inevitable sequel to "Man of Steel" in 2016 as well as the increasing pressure that DC Entertainment seems to be getting from various groups in regards to gender and ethnic equality in their superhero universes, it will be interesting to see what creators take over this book this winter and what directional shift, if any, the series takes as a result.

Jada Pinkett and more cast in Fox's "Gotham" TV show!

Fox's upcoming TV show based on a pre-Batman Gotham City is prepping to begin shooting in March for a "late 2014" network debut, which means more figures are being cast for "Gotham". The latest is Jada Pinkett Smith, best known for the last two "Matrix" films as well as "Hawthorne", cast as "Fish Mooney", a nightclub owner and mob boss.

She joins a cast which is quickly coming together. Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life", "Ghost Rider") has been cast as surly detective Harvey Bullock. Robin Lord Taylor ("Cold Comes the Night" has been cast as a young Oswald Cobblepot, who in the comics ultimately becomes "the Penguin" and who will begin in "Gotham" as the brilliant yet deranged flunky of Smith's Mooney. Zabryna Guevara ("Burn Notice" has been cast as police captain Essen, boss to the lead of the show, James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Erin Richards ("Breaking In") has been cast as Barbara Kean, an ER doctor who in the comics ultimately becomes Gordon's wife. Finally, Sean Pertwee ("Dog Soldiers", "Event Horizon") has been cast as Alfred Pennyworth, butler to the Wayne family and caretaker to the young Bruce Wayne - who has yet to be cast but is supposed to be roughly ten years old here.

Fox's last attempt at a TV show based off a DC Comics property, "Human Target", lasted only two seasons; one can imagine the network hopes to see as much success with "Gotham" as The CW have seen with "Arrow".

NBC working on casting "Constantine"!

Two Hollywood news sites are claiming that "The Tudors" actor Matt Ryan is "close" to being cast as the lead to NBC's TV adaptation of DC Comics' "Hellblazer". The series follows supernatural detective and con man John Constantine as he gets involved in cases which revolve around angels, demons, and everything in between. The pilot will be written by steady DC Entertainment man David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone ("Dexter", "The Mentalist") and directed by Neill Marshall ("Game of Thrones"). While DC Entertainment may be losing out to their rivals on the big screen, they continue to dominate the small screen across what will soon be three broadcast networks.

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