Wonder Woman fights and then teams up with the embodiment of chaos from Down Under, The Tasmanian Devil, in the latest DC/Looney Tunes crossover Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil #1. Tony Bedard’s script for the main story starts out serious and then gets kind of adorable as Diana and Taz start to bond. Artists Barry Kitson and John Floyd depict the Labyrinth, various monsters, and Taz’s classic whirling dervish moves with great care while colorist Lovern Kindzierski uses some magical purples for their shared enemy, Circe. But the real highlight of the comic is the Looney Tunes’ hilarious and satirical take on the Trojan War courtesy of Bedard and Flintstones artist Ben Caldwell in the backup story.
However, the main story from Bedard, Kitson, and Floyd is no slouch. It’s a classic mythical quest story meets mismatched buddy comedy. Bedard takes a page out of the Pizza Dog issue of Hawkeye and has Taz communicate his intentions with images and not words except for a really dramatic part of the story. And because Amazons speak hundreds of languages, Diana can speak to him too even though the rest of the world sees him as a dumb, dangerous beast that is to be avoided at all costs. Instead of killing him to get a trophy and beat one of her Amazon training challenges, she negotiates with him and promises him a feast in return for help and takes one of his horns while sleeping. This isn’t the most ethical behavior.
However, Bedard uses the non-linear nature of the plot in Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil to show Diana’s development as a woman and a hero. This time she uses her Golden Lasso to promise to give Taz his long awaited feast, and the buddy adventure part of the story begins. Whereas in the past, Diana was more insecure as the only young person on Themiscyra, she is more sure of herself in the present as well as being a better negotiator and warrior too. The journey of Diana and Taz through the labyrinth is the most fun stretch of the story with Kitson using layouts that mimic a maze, and Lovern Kindzierski making the Minotaur as dark as his completely evil heart. Plus there is Taz’s image based “dialogue” that adds some humor to what could just be a mythology influenced adventure yarn. The whole turning to stone plot is very cliched, but it’s pretty fun to see Taz do his tornado thing with a group of trolls, who are working for Circe.
Taz and Diana have a connection because she “stopped” him with music when she faced him as a young woman instead of trying to beat the crap out of him. And, of course, after he has devoured the Amazon’s feast, he wants to hear her sing. And her song is the Looney Tunes’ (plus Wonder Woman) take on the Trojan War courtesy of Bedard and artist Ben Caldwell.
Honestly, I could read a whole single issue of the Trojan War with these characters plus some modern day satire with Elmer Fudd’s Priam standing in for Donald Trump, and Troy for his much-vaunted border wall. (Of course, the Trojan Horse is a pink pinata.) Bedard and Caldwell also poke fun at the gender disparity in classic stories and manage to rhyme “cuckold and duckold” with Daffy Duck putting in an underrated performance as Menelaus. Some of the key players in the Iliad and Odyssey show up, including Odysseus and Achilles, and Bedard’s “casting” is spot-on even if Helen and Paris get most of the panel time. It’s also tied into classic Looney Tunes rivalries like Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.
And since the feast in Themiscyra is in Taz’s honor, the traditional Trojan War story takes a bit of a chaotic twist. However, it makes the backup story and the whole Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special that much endearing as Tony Bedard, Barry Kitson, and company start with the horror of Diana being hunted by Taz and end up in riotous comedy of them feasting and poking fun at the Trojan War.
Story/Backup Story: Tony Bedard Pencils: Barry Kitson
Inks: John Floyd Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Backup Art: Ben Caldwell
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review