The World's Greatest Heroes
The World's Greatest Comics
Wednesday Comics is a weekly anthology comic published by DC Comics in 2009. Following other weekly series such as 52, Countdown to Final Crisis, and Trinity, DC decided to take a new approach to a weekly series. Or, rather, an old approach.
This series is a deliberate homage to old style Silver Age stories done in a 14-by-20-inch broadsheet format, like Sunday newspaper comics. Each page is different, with a continuing story, some showing the superheroes as their classic selves, others completely reimagining them.
The stories were:
- Batman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
- Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook
- Hawkman by Kyle Baker
- Deadman by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck
- Superman by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo
- Green Lantern by Kurt Busiek and Joe Quiñones
- Metamorpho The Element Man by Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred
- Teen Titans by Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway
- Strange Adventures by Paul Pope
- Supergirl by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
- Metal Men by Dan DiDio, José Luis García-López and Kevin Nowlan
- Wonder Woman by Ben Caldwell
- Sgt. Rock by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert
- The Flash by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher
- The Demon and Catwoman by Walt Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze
- Alien Invasion: Several of the strips revolve around this.
- Anachronism Stew: Not within any of the strips, but in overall effect: most of the strips are homages to the Silver Age, and some are explicitly set in past decades (Green Lantern, 1950s; Metamorpho, 1960s), but we also have Pa Kent considering the potential of biodiesel and Selina Kyle telling how she "Googled" Jason Blood.
- Anthology Comic
- Art Shift: When reality fractures during the Flash storyline, the art style keeps switching to that of other newspaper comics — Peanuts, Modesty Blaise, Blondie, and Dick Tracy — before returning to its own style as reality settles down.
- Artistic License Chemistry: One of the Metamorpho strips is a two-page spread where he and Element Woman go through a periodic table-patterned puzzle, but they go through the actinids series when landing on the lanthanids squares and vice-versa. Also, the dialogue does some clever highlighting of each element's symbol, but there are two errors in it: when Metamorpho goes through neon, he says "Not me, babe" (No being the symbol for nobelium; neon is Ne) and Simon Stagg says "Utmost importance" over the block that is supposed to be thulium (whose symbol is Tm, so Neil Gaiman highlighted the wrong part of the word) - even though, as mentioned, the lanthanids' row is switched with the actinids'.
- Batman Cold Open: Batman's strip is actually the first one, but the trope is used for Metamorpho.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys:
- The Hecate Sisters: They make an appearance in the Wonder Woman strip.
- I Believe I Can Fly: Diana can't fly like a bird, but can swim through the air.
- Genre Throwback: Several of the strips (Green Lantern and Metamorpho especially) hearken back to The Silver Age of Comic Books. Kamandi plays off of adventure strips like Prince Valiant. Strange Adventures is a throwback to pulp sci-fi like Buck Rogers and John Carter of Mars.
- In the Style of...: As mentioned above, Kamandi is in the style of Prince Valiant. The Flash is (before things start getting really meta) divided into two strips, with Iris West presented as a career-woman romance strip like Apartment 3-G.
- Jet Pack: Adam Strange always has one on hand.
- Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: A distinct lack of, considering all the homages to the Silver Age, but Gaiman still manages to sneak in exposition about Metamorpho's power.
- Mythology Gag: The Strange Adventures strip includes a scene where Adam Strange has a conversation with Doctor Fate about his psychological block on finding the Zeta Beam. Dr Fate tries to help but points out that, like Strange, he's a doctor of archeology, and psychology isn't his forte. In The DCU, the then-current Doctor Fate, grand-nephew of the archeologist, was a psychoanalyst.
- Or Was It a Dream?: The Wonder Woman reimagining starts like this.
- Planetary Romance: Strange Adventures reinvents Rann as a Planetary Romance setting.
- Rival Turned Evil: The astronaut in Green Lantern. Not entirely his fault, and he was a lot nicer than Hal back in the day.
- Silence Is Golden: The Kamandi strips have no dialogue, only narration.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: We don't get to see Diana's lasso or bracelets (until later in the story), but we do see her lesser-known ability to talk to animals (pigeons, in this case).
- Spiritual Successor: A strange example, as Palmiotti and Conner were also simultaneously doing Power Girl, Supergirl's Earth-2 version.
- Sunday Strip: Basically, a Sunday Strip FOR COMIC BOOKS!
- Wall of Text: The Wonder Woman strips are very verbose, perhaps too much for the format.