Wonder Woman #5 Review OR Sweet Sea Monster Poseidon, But I Miss Cliff Chiang

This was an issue full of people popping in unexpectedly, be it at a café, in the middle of the Thames, or in the sewers.  Which is sort of rude considering that Wonder Woman is having a bit of a tough time right now, what with her mother turned to stone and all of her sisters turned into snakes!!  Give the woman some space… let her have some time with her two classy pals to grieve!!  But no, it never stops for Wonder Woman.

As always, SPOILERS!!!!

I mean it, I’m going to ruin EVERYTHING that happens in this comic.

So if you haven’t read it yet, bugger off.

Okay, so Wonder Woman #5.  To be super honest, it was good but not great for me.  It felt like a bit of a set-up issue, a get some pieces in place sort of thing.  It was more meandering compared to the BAM BAM BAM goings on of the first four issues.  Though I suppose after your mom gets turned into a statue, a bit of meandering is called for.  It’s sort of fitting, really.

The big thing, though, was the lack of Cliff Chiang.  Tony Akins was fine, and I have nothing bad to say about his art.  He got stuck with a lot of sitting around and chatting, which isn’t so exciting, but when things got crazy he did well.  His suited up Wonder Woman was really good, and he seemed to be having a ton of fun with the horse fish and Poseidon.

But Chiang brings something extra to the table.  Every time I sit down to review the book, I just want to stick in panel after panel of the fantastic expressions and layouts and poses he throws down.  Chiang brings the book to life SO well, and the book without him feels noticeably less awesome.  Cliff Chiang’s art makes me grin while I read it, like it literally makes me all happy just to look at it.  Story aside, it’s just so pretty.  Paired with a great story, it’s freaking EPIC.  When it’s a slow issue of a great story and decent art, I’m considerably less giddy while reading.

Nonetheless, a lot of things happened!!  First up, we have a new friend.  Lennox is another of Zeus’ many children, who discovered his demigodness during the Blitzkrieg and signed up to fight the Nazis alongside the Brits.  I really liked how Wonder Woman identified with that, the knowing you’re different than the people around you but choosing to fight for them anyway.  I don’t know whether or not to trust him, but I totally buy how Wonder Woman has founded her trust in him.  Hermes and Zola are more leery of Lennox, but Wonder Woman’s not the sort to be cynical… she looks past the exterior and finds something she can really identify with and put faith in, and I think Azzarello depicted that side of her really well.

Then Poseidon showed up, and he’s a sea monster!!  And kind of a cool one… he’s got tentacles and a shell and a huge mouth and spines that inadvertently spear fish.  After seeing all of the gods look pretty normal, I wasn’t expected Poseidon to be so out there.  Maybe he has a more humanlike form, sort of like how Strife can go all giantlike and then shrink back down.  Anyway, he’s fixing to make a play to rule Olympus, so Apollo’s got some competition.

Speaking of Strife, I missed her a lot.  She’s just a fantastic character to have around.

Hades shows up too… well, I assume it’s Hades.  If a weird looking guy follows Cerberus out of a sewer, I think it’s a fair assumption that it’s Hades.  We only get to see him for one panel, and he has some sort of weird glowing thing melting over his head.  I don’t now what’s up with this:

But I can’t imagine things are going to go great for Lennox, who stumbled upon him.

Finally, we see our old pal Hera again, and man oh man Wonder Woman has set her up BAD.  It’s kind of great… instead of going and beating the hell out of Hera for what she did last issue, Wonder Woman plays it all cool and tells Poseidon that Hera’s claimed the heavens, essentially igniting a war between the gods.  Talk about two birds with one stone.  First, Wonder Woman gets some nice revenge, and second, she distracts Hera so her attention stays away from Zola.  That is some smart thinking.  I like when Wonder Woman kicks some ass, but strategic Wonder Woman is a super good time too.  Hera is displeased, of course, and there’s two centaurs walking through the streets of London at the end of the issue, so clearly something is going to go down there.  But Wonder Woman can handle centaurs.

Like I said earlier, this was a get some pieces in place sort of issue.  We’ve got a new character with Lennox, Poseidon and Hades are on the scene now, war between the gods seems inevitable, and Wonder Woman is right in the middle of it all.  It looks like next month we’ll get to see what Hades is up to, what with Cerberus on the cover.  From the previews, it sounds like someone gets kidnapped by Hades.  What we know is that it’s “someone she dearly loves” and “an innocent soul” so my money’s on Zola.  Especially because of the bit in this issue where Zola brings up that it’s a not so great idea for Wonder Woman to leave her on the bridge when she goes to chat with Poseidon.  That feels like some foreshadowing to me.

Wonder Woman #6 won’t be out for a whole month, which is a bummer.  I want to know what happens next!!  Look for it on February 15th!!  Oh, the day after Valentine’s… if you forget to get your significant other a present, show up the next day with a copy of Wonder Woman #6 and all will be forgiven.  What’s more romantic than Wonder Woman fighting Cerberus?!

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2 Responses to “Wonder Woman #5 Review OR Sweet Sea Monster Poseidon, But I Miss Cliff Chiang”

  1. Martin Gray Says:

    Good review, Tim, I especially like your explanation of how Chiang makes you feel.

    ‘Lennox is another of Zeus’ many children, who discovered his demigodness during the Blitzkrieg and signed up to fight the Nazis alongside the Brits. ‘ I think he’s actually meant to be British, hence the awful attempt at a Cock-er-ney accent from Brian Azzarello.

    Apparently Tony Akins explained at DC’s Source blog that Hades is dripping candlewax, with the image based on a painting.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Thanks, Mart!
      Yeah, I should have written “his fellow Brits”… I was trying to differentiate him on account of his demigodness, but it came out sounding like I was saying he’s not British! And yeah, it wasn’t a great accent… usually Azzarello has a better ear for that.
      Thanks for the tip on the Akins interview… I found the painting, and might do a post about it this weekend.

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