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Review: Wonder Woman #36

ww0036covThe Wonder Woman series takes a different turn starting with this issue.  So far since the new 52, the character has been controlled by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, but with this issue the new team of married couple David and Meredith Finch, the series is undergoing a change.  Since the launch of the new 52, the series has been one of the standouts for DC Comics, and many fans of the character list the previous 35 issues as some of the favorites in the character’s long publication history, rivaling those of George Peres and Gail Simone.  If there had been one criticism of the new series, it is that it was mostly as a standalone from the remainder of the DC Universe.  There was the occasional cameo by others, but mostly the series kept to itself and told its own story.  With the new creative team, the emphasis is now on how to balance what is now comic canon from the previous run in regards to her modified origin and history, while also trying to reintegrate the character into the mainstream DC Universe.

This doesn’t take long, after a nearly poetic entrance, and a short interlude by the Amazons, Diana is shown immediately surrounded by her allies from the Justice League.  No sooner is she appraised of the situation than she is off to investigate the disappearance of numerous villages around the globe.  This gives a chance for a short (and possibly out-of-place) fight scene, but the character of Wonder Woman is handled well throughout, as her true nature is shown versus the other characters.  She may be the Goddess of War, but as the Futures End series demonstrated, she is probably better suited to be the Goddess of Peace.  Seemingly the creative team didn’t want to thrust the character back into the DC Universe entirely, and so by the end of the issue she is back to Themyscira for a problem now rooted back into those of the mythology from which she is born.

Overall the issue does what it needs to have done.  Wonder Woman is thrown back into the main DC Universe with careful intention, and yet the ties to her stories so far in the new 52 are not simply forgotten.  Much was made about David Finch’s comment about the character and feminism, but those were apparently taken out of context, and really he does a great job drawing female characters (though I might point out that his male characters tend to be a bit boxy).  Focusing on the feminine is not a bad thing for this book, as long as it is not exploitative, and with one issue into this new direction, the creative team seems to at least be on the right track.

Story: Meredith Finch Art: David Finch
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Almost American

3 comments

  • This is one of those reviews, where I find myself asking, did we read the same book?

    This issue should be titled ‘watch Meredith learning how to write a comic’.

    The writing is simply awful. Aside from painful dialogue, the characterisation of Diana is terrible. In one fell swoop she’s reduced to being whinging, self-centred and dare I suggest, weak, beside her male colleagues.

    David’s visual portrayal of Wonder Woman is another evident failiure.

    And to cap it all off, Hera was not a statue when Azzarello & Chiang’s run concluded.

    All in all, another fine editorial effort. They pick an unsuitable team and then don’t even support them correctly.

    This is a very poor book.

    • Fair comments, and I see where you are coming from. For me personally, I liked Azzarello’s writing, but not his story so much. All of the drama with Greek Gods was well-conceived but it was hard for me to associate with. The new run by comparison shouldn’t really be compared to Azzarello. It is the same problem that Odyssey got after the Simone run. Odyssey was perceived to be not as good, but stands on its own as an iconic WW story arc now after a few years. I can agree that the writing here was a bit more simplistic, but I think that Meredith did a good job juggling all the balls that she had in the air. I think her portrayal of Diana is actually more accurate based on her 60 years of publication history, but again I get where it is that you are coming from. The start of this run makes it look like something more like what Land or Messner Loebs would have been responsible for, but in both of those cases, those writers had multiple years to build their stories. In short, I do agree with some of your points, but I also see a lot of potential here. I will be reviewing this every month though, so you will be able to tell if I start agreeing with you.

  • Vegetative injustice is what this review is.