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Exploring Radical (And Kinky) Idealism: “Wonder Woman Earth One Volume Two” Review

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When “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 1” came out in 2016, it was groundbreaking in how it re-imagined Wonder Woman while reconnecting her with her kinkier roots. For years, she’d been moving away from the unique brand of feminism that her creator, William Moulton Marston, had once defined her. This culminated in her 2017 movie in which all the BDSM connotation were purged from her persona.

While many creative forces over multiple decades turned Wonder Woman into someone very different from her creator had intended, Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette went in the opposite direction. They dared to embrace the kinks and reshape Wonder Woman’s story in a way that works while retaining Marston’s original themes.

That story remains one of my favorite Wonder Woman stories of all time and one I’ve gone out of my way to praise. Finally, after a two-year wait and a prolonged absence of kink from superhero comics, “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 2” has arrived. Fans of warrior women, feminist utopias, and not-so-subtle bondage themes can rejoice.

Like any sequel, it faces the inescapable challenge of matching the high bar set by its predecessor. On top of that, it also has to dig deeper into an aspect of Wonder Woman that generations of writers have tried to overwrite or ignore. Even with an elevated profile, thanks to her movie, this is a part of Wonder Woman’s persona that is largely unknown or undeveloped.

The greatest challenge of Volume 1 was to reintroduce Marston’s radical concepts of love, submission, and domination in a way that didn’t feel like bad fan fiction. Morrison and Paquette succeeded by building the story around this dazzling, techno-feminist utopia on a mythology built on ideas that seem antithetical to the world dominated by lies, mistrust, and cynicism.

If the goal of that story was to affirm the potential of these ideas, then “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 2” is built around how those ideas are challenged. It’s one thing to defend them on an island paradise populated by immortal warrior women of unyielding compassion. It’s quite another to defend them in a world where gay frogs inspire conspiracy theories.

Wonder Woman’s situation is considerably different this time around. She’s not insulated on her island paradise. She’s well-known public figure, an established superhero, and a vocal proponent for her radical ideology. She presents it as a viable way of achieving peace and justice in a world full of suffering and hatred. Unlike other wide-eyed idealists, she comes off as entirely genuine.

Not surprisingly, the world isn’t eager to sign up for her novel approach of peace through submission to a loving authority. It doesn’t just come from grumpy old men who only want women to make babies and sandwiches, either. Even among other women, her ideas are challenged and deconstructed throughout the story.

What does it even mean to submit to a loving authority?

Why is she so sure that it’ll work in the world outside her idyllic homeland?

How are men supposed to approach this concept?

How far is she willing to go to implement her ideas?

These are all difficult questions that get asked throughout the story. Wonder Woman doesn’t avoid these questions, but she doesn’t get a chance to answer them either. Even though she is celebrated by many, nobody seems capable of embracing her ideology as completely as her.

To further complicate this challenge, Nazis enter the picture. Trust me, it’s not as shallow as it sounds. The story isn’t built around Wonder Woman acting like Captain America, traveling the world and punching Nazis. In fact, the way she handles her enemies in this story is very different to the methods she used in the “Wonder Woman” movie. However, that’s where the story gains both complications and nuance.

Through a few flashbacks and side-plots, we get to see how Wonder Woman’s ideology confronts something that’s completely antithetical to everything she stands for. Initially, it looks like her approach works. She’s so compassionate and so empathetic that she can take violent, hate-filled Nazis and redeem their souls. That’s where the complications come in.

In both the events that unfolded in the past and those that play out in the present, we see shortcoming of Wonder Woman’s ideals. It’s not that someone taints or disproves them. As the conflict plays out, we see how the components necessary to make her ideology work aren’t as abundant as they are in her homeland. As a result, Wonder Woman pays a price for her idealism and it’s a steep, heartbreaking price.

Not all of it is a direct result of her ideology, though. Wonder Woman also deals with a devious adversary in Dr. Psycho, who effectively turns her ideals against her. He doesn’t just question or deconstruct the merits of submission to a loving authority. He manipulates them to his own ends, which plays right into the hands of her critics.

It’s tragic in that it leads to heartache for Wonder Woman and her friends, but it stops short of breaking her. This is Wonder Woman, after all. Loss, defeat, and criticism do not break her. No mortal or God can break her. Those are her words, not mine. These challenges, however, put her in a difficult position where she has to confront unpleasant truths.

Without spoiling too many plot points, I’ll note that Wonder Woman comes to realize that there are grater complexities to loving submission than she ever could’ve realized. She sees first-hand how difficult it is to get someone to willingly submit in a world where weakness can invite harm, exploitation, and injustice. Just preaching her message isn’t enough. By not doing more, it costs her and those she cares about.

In terms of the larger narrative, “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 2” is a wonderfully effective evolution of the world that Morrison and Paquette created. Along the way, the story continues to embrace the unique principles of the original iteration of Wonder Woman that Marston crafted in 1942.

Not entirely, that is.

If there’s any shortcoming to the narrative, it’s how incomplete it feels at the end. It’s not a cliff-hanger, but there are many lingering plot threads that don’t get resolved. Granted, it says on the final page that there is a Volume 3 planned for this series. Given the two-year gap in between this book and its predecessor, the wait seems nothing short of agonizing.

Even with those dangling threads, “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 2” is still a complete Wonder Woman story that’s unlike anything you’ll get in the movies or comics. If I had to score it, I would give it a 9 out of 10. The lack of resolution at the end is the only thing keeping it from a perfect score. It still gets so many things right about who Wonder Woman is and why she’s so endearing.

The fact that she can be endearing while retaining the radical spirit that Marston had envisioned helps make “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 2” all the more remarkable. She’s not just a fierce warrior woman. She’s the personification of a different approach to gender, power, and love. It may seem bizarre and kinky to us, but it has powerful implications for people of any gender.

It doesn’t go overboard with the BDSM undertones, nor does it focus heavily on gender politics. They are mentioned, but not forced into the plot. There are things Wonder Woman does that feminists, conservatives, and BDSM fans can get behind. At every turn, she carries herself as someone who is willing to embrace everyone. It’s that unconditional, universal compassion that makes her Wonder Woman.

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Filed under comic book reviews, gender issues, superhero comics, superhero movies, Wonder Woman

Final Edits of “Rescued Hearts” And Promo Art!

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I’ve got another quick, but pivotal update on the status of “Rescued Hearts.” A couple days ago, I received what will likely be the final round of edits. They weren’t quite as extensive as the first round that I got, but I’m hoping these act as the final layer of polish on what I hope to be a sexy, romantic novel that’ll entertain and titillate for all the right reasons.

While these edits were less extensive, there were a few interesting lessons to glean from the process. Some of those lessons were a byproduct of my writing style and I’m not just referring to the sexy scenes.

When I’m writing something I know will be edited multiple times, either by myself or someone else, I have a fairly specific approach. I tend to be more detailed and specific, sometimes to the point of being purposefully wordy. I know that would upset nearly every English teacher I’ve ever had, but there’s a reason behind it.

I learned early on in my writing career that it’s easier and more efficient to write some bloat into a piece and then trim it later on. Think of it like throwing a huge lob of clay onto a table, but then taking the time to shape and polish it. In my case, though, that clay consists of a sexy story.

During the editing process, it’s mostly a matter of trimming some of that bloat and being more concise in certain areas. That’s especially important for the sexy scenes. In my experience, people don’t want to know the exact location of every strand of pubic hair. The same goes for romance. Not every beat of sweat needs a backstory.

That doesn’t mean I don’t end up having to do major revisions. During the editing process for “Passion Relapse,” I ended up having to rewrite the entire ending. I didn’t have to do that with “Rescued Hearts,” but there have been times when I’ve tried to keep some of the bloat I’ve written.

I won’t get into specifics since I don’t want to get into sexy spoiler territory. However, I’ve learned from these final round of edits that there are certain points in the story where you can stop emphasizing certain details. You’ve already gotten the point across. You don’t need to repeat yourself, but I often do anyway. That’s a tough lesson that I’m still trying to learn.

I hope to make use of those lessons with future novels. For now, “Rescued Hearts” is on track for its October 28th release date later this year. In preparation for that date, my publisher, Totally Entwined Group, sent me some sexy promo art. I intend to use this art every chance I get on this blog so expect to see plenty of it. Here’s a quick teaser that should get your blood flowing in all the right directions.

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Hope that gets everyone a little more excited for October 28th. I also hope “Rescued Hearts” ends up being another step in my efforts to become a successful erotica/romance writer. I want to keep improving with every novel. I want my writing to get better, sexier, and more polished with every novel.

While I am going to put plenty of effort into promoting “Rescued Hearts,” I’m already hard at work on my next novel. I’ve got plenty more sexy ideas beyond that as well. I don’t know which of these ideas will work or whether any of them will make me more successful, but I’m eager to try as many of them as I can. If I can do that and add more sex appeal to my writing, then I’ll consider my efforts a success.

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“Passion Relapse” Is Out TODAY!

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It’s finally here! Today’s the day where the aspiring erotica/romance writer in me can finally say it. I can finally say that, after toiling all these years, trying to craft sexy stories, I got a book published. Just typing that out with a straight face makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If I were wearing panties, I’d probably have to change them.

Last year, a small publisher called Totally Entwined Group took a chance on me and accepted my manuscript for “Passion Relapse.” After countless rejection letters, some of which were pretty damn discouraging, these wonderful folk decided to give me a shot to tell a sexy story with them. I can’t thank them enough for that chance.

Working with them has been enlightening and engaging. In working with them, I had to do multiple edits of my manuscript, including a total rewrite of the ending. I learned a lot about how to improve my style, my grammar, and the overall sex appeal of my words. It was a hell of an experience and I hope I get to have more like it.

Now, after a long and fruitful process, the big day is here. I can finally say as a writer that I’ve been published. I feel as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. At the risk of sounding like a Disney character, I’ll just say with the utmost pride and excitement that “Passion Relapse” is now available, courtesy of Totally Entwined Group. Are you looking for sexy romance? Well look no further.

Mary Ann Scott was once an aspiring fitness model and all-around party girl. Now, she’s a sex addict whose recovery is making her miserable. Despite spending nearly a year in a treatment program, she struggles to escape the scars left by her addiction. Then, one night, she crosses paths with Peter Robert Rogers, a childhood friend turned handsome firefighter who just happens to be a recovering sex addict as well.

He comes into Mary’s life broken, distraught and vulnerable. Having experienced that feeling, too, she reaches out to him. Together, they try to help each other heal. But in doing so, Mary doesn’t just open old wounds. She evokes a wealth of pent-up desire…a desire that quickly consumes them both.

Now, she and Peter are nearing the brink of relapsing. They’re on the verge of giving in to their addiction. Will it break them once more? Or will it bring them together and finally heal their wounded souls?

Passion Relapse
(Paperback Version)

Passion Relapse
(eBook Version)

To all those who have supported me, my wonderful family and those who support this blog, I thank you. Now I don’t expect this book to be a top seller. In my view, it’s a step towards telling better and sexier stories. It was a long, arduous process to take that step. Now, I’m ready to take the next step and do it in the sexiest way possible.

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“Passion Relapse” Release Just One Week Away!

This is just a friendly reminder that my first published book, “Passion Relapse,” is only one week away. That’s right! In just one week, I’ll be able to celebrate my first published book. I’m more excited than a fly in a shit factory. I hope to share that excitement with as many people as possible.

So please mark your calendar if you already haven’t. On April 18th, 2017, the first book by Jack Fisher will hit the stands. So stock up on clean panties, tissues, and lube. The wait is almost over!

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