Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wonder Woman - Hell Hath No Fury - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1 - Through binoculars, we see the front gates of Birkenau concentration camp wide open.  Soviet Red Army soldiers are leading the emaciated women, starving and cold, out of the camp, and transporting more in trucks.

CAPTION:  January 27, 1945

NAZI 1:  (off panel) Die Russen nehmen die restlichen Frauen nun, Kommandant.

Panel 2 - Lying on their stomachs on the snowy ground atop a nearby hillside, SS soldiers look through binoculars and down rifle sights.  The KOMMANDANT stands hands clasped behind him, steam from his nostrils in the winter air.  Two Nazi soldiers stand at his flanks.

KOMMANDANT:  Alle für uns beendet ist, fürchte ich. Wenn alles klar ist, werden wir von dieser Position zu den Farmen im Norden zu bewegen.

Panel 3 - From above and behind the KOMMANDANT and his soldiers, a feminine shadow falls upon them.  One of the flank soldiers notices in fear.

KOMMANDANT:  Bereiten Sie sich auf mein Kommando zurück...

NAZI 2:  Kommandant! Schauen Sie!

Panel 4 - Foreground, the Kommandant, SS, and other Nazis turn around in surprise.  Before them, WONDER WOMAN stands ankle deep in the snow.  One hand holds a Thompson machine gun, the other holds an Amazon war axe.  Her hair partially obscures her furious face due to the blowing wind and snow.  She is poised for battle, angry as hell, hungry for blood.

WONDER WOMAN:  No man shall die by my hand today.

WONDER WOMAN:  Beasts and monsters, however...


  1. Wunderbar. Decent build-up to a powerful reveal. Not speaking German though, I was not as affected as maybe I should have been...?

  2. The setting allows you the opportunity to examine some of the darker aspects of Wonder Woman's character, and as J.D. says, it is an excellent buildup. However, I also have to echo his question whether the script benefits from the Germans' words not being translated. Perhaps it would be more effective when drawn, but I'm not sure I see the gain from leaving their dialogue in their mother tongue.

    1. Re: the language thing.
      Yeah, it's something I've been playing with in my writing. I saw it done in other comic books to great effect (foreign languages sans translation) and thought I'd give it a go. I probably went a little heavy on it this time out. In all actuality, I love playing with other languages. Probably is the appeal of teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language all these years.
      Thanks for the feedback, as always!

  3. Hi Ray,

    I have to agree with the lads.

    I like the technique you are talking about and think it works great at times (I think I've seen it most recently in Saga).

    I think when it is used it must to some extent be clear from the context of the scene what the people are saying - or not matter at all to the reader. It also needs to be necessary - as in, that they would be speaking in such a situation. By that I mean, if all the info you need is on the page without needing to understand the dialogue, doublecheck if the page wouldn't be better served silent.
    (not sure if I've explained myself well there).

    I'm talking about that technique in general there.

    In the case of your page, without the dialogue you might assume that the Germans were in a position of power - about to attack the Russians. With the translated text we see that they are in retreat. So the reader is missing something by not understanding the dialogue. It could be argued that this is not important to the story though. Perhaps you were aiming to use this technique so that the story could be read and understood without the dialogue but if the reader spoke German or went to the trouble to translate it they would see another layer to the story from the POV of the Germans.

    Also, I think as the scene starts from the Germans POV, we instinctively want to know what they are saying. We want to understand fully the situation of our lens characters. If the scene opened from WW's POV I don't think we'd care as much what the Germans were harping on about.

    To give an example of this - in an early issue of Saga the two main characters are tracked to a garage by some soldiers. The soldiers dialogue is not translated but we get a good idea of what they are saying from the context. The focus is on the main characters, so as long as we know what they are doing/thinking we don't feel out of sync with the story. If the scene opened following the actions of the soldiers I think that this technique would have been annoying as we as readers would want to know what they were saying.

    I've probably ranted on a bit too much :)

    Nice page, good work.


Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.