Wonder Woman #20 Review OR Wonder Woman Wins With Her Brain (For A Change)


I generally liked Wonder Woman #20.  If you read these reviews with any regularity, you’ll know that the series has been in a bit of a rut for me lately and I’ve been frustrated with various elements of the book.  Some of those elements still remain, and I’ll talk about them in a bit, but some improved with this issue, which was very nice to see.  Plus, they improved by means of a kick ass fight scene, which is extra fun.  But before we discuss:


There was a VERY cool fight scene that I am about to RUIN for you if you haven’t read the book yet.

This is your last chance to leave before SPOILERS!!

Carrying on, the fight scene between Wonder Woman and Artemis was great.  On a purely entertainment level, it was well choreographed and exciting.  The night sky over London is a very cool place for a fight, and Chiang broke the panels down into cool angles and perspectives to make the battle dynamic.  I particularly liked this overhead panel of Artemis throwing Wonder Woman into Trafalgar Square:


All told, it was a well-set, well-designed fight that made for some excellent comic book fun.

The fight also addressed a number of concerns I’ve had with the book lately, and with Wonder Woman in particular.  It’s been a while since Wonder Woman’s won a fight on her own; lately, she’ll get into a battle of some kind, it’ll start to go bad, and some boys will show up and sort it all out for her.  Here, Wonder Woman won on her own, hands down, without anyone else’s help.  She, a demigod, defeated a full god, and in impressive fashion.

Wonder Woman was outmatched in brawn, so she won the fight with brains.  For the vast majority of this New 52 run, Wonder Woman’s not been the brightest.  She’s been duped at almost every turn, shown a lot of poor judgment and naïveté, and just generally she’s not come off as much of a smart, capable superhero after the first few issues of the book.  Here, though, she beats Artemis with physics!  Wonder Woman’s strategy is all about momentum, using Artemis’ strength and speed against her with some clever lassoing.  That first Trafalgar Square was cool, but this one is even better, with Wonder Woman whipping Artemis down into the ground:


Wonder Woman turned a disadvantage into an advantage, and fought like a proper superhero for the first time in a long while.

A key part of this battle was restraint.  Instead of flying off the handle and going full tilt against Artemis, Wonder Woman fought carefully and calmly.  First, she kept her bracelets on.  Artemis taunted her, trying to get Wonder Woman to release her divine power and make it a real fight, but Wonder Woman knew that a) that kind of power in the middle of a city would be dangerous, and b) that this wasn’t a fight that would be won by brawn.  Second, when Artemis blew up the hotel room where Zola, Lennox, and the rest were staying and Wonder Woman didn’t know if her friends were dead or alive, she didn’t lash out.  She kept her cool, continued to fight smart, and didn’t let her emotions get the better of her.  Artemis is all angry, unchecked brawn, and Wonder Woman beat her by being the opposite.

So this was a really good issue for Wonder Woman.  She’s still one of the least interesting characters in her own book, but at least she’s behaving like a superhero now.  This smart, reined in but powerful Wonder Woman much more fits my idea of the character than what we’ve been seeing for the last year or so.  It was nice to see her start and finish something well, without anyone’s help.  I hope this continues in future issues.

However, as great as the fight was, yet again Wonder Woman only appeared in 9 of the book’s 20 pages.  It wouldn’t be so bad if this didn’t happen every month OR the rest was jam packed with cool stuff, but that just hasn’t been the case.  Structurally, I have some big problems with how the series is progressing.  It feels like half a book’s worth of story each month, spread out over 20 pages.  In particular, the five pages set on Olympus that we’re getting every issue now are driving me crazy.  They seem to exist only to rehash what we already know, and in an extremely drawn out manner.  This issue took four pages to get to where we were at the very end of the LAST issue.  Even months into this bizarre, spread too thin routine, I still find myself shocked to be disappointed in the storytelling choices of Brian Azzarello.  Of all the writers in comics, I never expected to have problems with how he structured his work.  But Wonder Woman’s become rather formulaic and slow as of late.

The inconsistency of the art is frustrating as well.  Chiang did the breakdowns for this issue, and you can see the flair he brings to the page layouts in Goran Sudzuka’s finished art.  However, Chiang only drew 5 of the pages himself, and they were the most boring ones.  Sudzuka finished the rest, and while they weren’t bad, they weren’t Chiang.  Chiang’s done only two full issues since the zero issue way back in September, and I really miss him on the book.

Finally, while Wonder Woman awesomely won the fight with Artemis, Ares did return Artemis to Apollo, so we’ll have to watch how that plays out.  If Artemis is down for the count and is a non-factor now, then it’s not a big deal, but if she shows up again, spoiling for another fight because Ares let her go, that’s another fast one that’s been pulled on Wonder Woman.

Nonetheless, this is one of the better issues of Wonder Woman in some time.  The fight was great, Wonder Woman got some of her oomph back, and now the tables are set for a big fight with the First Born next month.  Why can’t these kids just get along?  They’re family!

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46 Responses to “Wonder Woman #20 Review OR Wonder Woman Wins With Her Brain (For A Change)”

  1. Carol Says:

    Artemis is not a full goddess, she is same as Wonder Woman, Princess Diana….They are both daughters of Zeus…both mothers are a I guess mortals… no wait Queen Hippolyta is the daughter of Ares the god of War. Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. Ares and Otrera is the parents of Queen Hippolyta. Otrera is the high priestess of Artemis. Artemis lesser than Princess Diana, her mother is Leto who is completely mortal not related to Ares.Coeus and Phoebe is the parents of Leto. Her parents were mortal. Leto gives birth to Artemis and Apollo twins, children of Zeus.

    • sftheory1 Says:

      Actually, Artemis is a full goddess. Leto, though a Titan, is still a god.

      • Carol Says:

        Sorry some accounts state Artemis’ mother was mortal not a full goddess. Have you watch Star Trek Who will morn for Adonias? Leto was mortal….Artemis is half-goddess accordingly to Star Trek.

        Titan is not god, but giant, giantess race. Who ruled the world under Cronus.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Then so is Zeus. Cronus and Rhea are both Titans, the generation of gods who proceeded Zeus’s generation. The giants, proper, where spawned by Gaia after the Titans’ defeat as a measure of revenge.
        And Star Trek is, like HtLJ and GoW, has nothing to do with actual Greek myth. Rather bastardizations with little to recommend it.
        I have never read any information on Leto being mortal. And I’ve likely read all there is on Greek mythology (save pop culture bastardizations).

      • Carol Says:

        It researched throughly by Star Trek Staff that Leto was mortal in Who will Moarn for Adonias.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Source please? I can’t find anything saying that the writer researched it.
        Again, all sources I know of show that Leto was a goddess.

      • Carol Says:

        If you watch star trek Who will moarn for Adonias? Apollo saids to Carolina, Zeus took his mother Leto an Mortal Woman.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        That proves nothing. The writer of the episode made it up. Again, all the sources I know of state Leto is a Titan. Not a mortal.
        But the real question is: How is Azz adapting the myths? What is his version of Greek myth?

      • Carol Says:

        Why would the writers of Star Trek make it up? Accordingly to story and maybe their history book of Ancient Greece and mythology stated Leto was Mortal. I do not want to go on with you about this. It is harassment. The reasons there is differents accounts of the gods, goddess of Greek and Rome because poor translation to English.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Agreed. This is bordering on harassment. Though now I want to see if I can find the sources that Coon and Ralston used for the episode.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I am glad you agree that are harrassing me….go looked up Coon and Ralston’s resourse accordingly to them Apollo and Artemis’ mother Leto was mortal.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Actually, you were harassing me. You didn’t have to reply back. And, to be honest, I’ve been unsuccessful finding info on the two of them.

      • Carol Says:

        How is it that I am harrassing you???

        (At a marble bench by a tranquil water scene.)
        CAROLYN: Oh, it’s lovely.
        APOLLO: I’ve known other women. Daphne, Cassandra, but none more beautiful than you. Are you frightened of me?
        CAROLYN: Frightened? No, I don’t think so. Of course, a girl doesn’t go walking with a
        APOLLO: A god?
        CAROLYN: All right, a god every day. What happened to the others? Artemis, Hera?
        APOLLO: They returned to the cosmos on the wings of the wind.
        CAROLYN: You mean they died?
        APOLLO: No, not as you understand it. We’re immortal, we gods. But the Earth changed. Your fathers changed. They turned away until we were only memories. A god cannot survive as a memory. We need love, admiration, worship, as you need food.
        CAROLYN: You really think you’re a god?
        APOLLO: In a real sense, we were gods. We had the power of life and death. We could have struck out from Olympus and destroyed. We have no wish to destroy, so we came home again. It was an empty place without worshippers, but we had no strength to leave, so we waited, all of us, through the long years.
        CAROLYN: But you said the others didn’t die.
        APOLLO: Even for a god, there’s a point of no return. Hera was first. She stood in front of the temple and spread herself upon the wind, thinner and thinner, until only the wind remained. But I knew you would come. You striving, bickering, foolishly brave humans. I knew you would come to the stars one day. Of all the gods, I knew and I waited, waited for you to come and sit by my side.
        CAROLYN: I don’t understand.
        APOLLO: Even five thousand years ago, the gods took mortals to them to love, to care for, like Zeus took Leto, my mother. We were gods of passion, of love.
        (They kiss.)

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Well, if you think my replies were harassment, then what are your’s?
        That bit of dialogue proves nothing. I’m trying to find out what sources the writers had. Where did they get it? From a specific ancient source or did they make it up?

        But, enough of this. This discussion is neglecting the fact that Azz.’s usage of the Greek myths is at issue here. Not Star Trek’s. Or HtLJ. Or GoW

      • Carol Says:

        Star Trek gotten this story from Adonais by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

        They the writters did research of Greek Mythology, Leto was mortal.

    • Carol Says:

      APOLLO: Even five thousand years ago, the gods took mortals to them to love, to care for, like Zeus took Leto, my mother. We were gods of passion, of love.
      (They kiss.)

      This statement from Apollos is very simple to understand, his mother Leto was Mortal. Zeus took his mother Leto as a Bride.

      • Carol Says:

        Star Trek gotten this story from Adonais by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

        They the writters did research of Greek Mythology, Leto was mortal.

  2. Carol Says:

    Leto was romanced by Zeus to try to overthrown the Titans, a bride of Zeus.Some accounts Leto was an Titans, some accounts state she was mortal, some accounts Leto was a witch with the dark arts. She hid herself away from Hera, Zeus’ wife and Zeus and given birth to Artemis and Apollo. Hera drove Leto from Olympus. Fearing much to fear from any son Leto conceived, Hera decreed that no land should welcome her without suffering fatal consequences. Leto was forced to wander without a place to rest. To keep her moving, Hera sent a great serpent called Python to pursue her.
    Zeus meanwhile sent Boreas, the god of the north wind, to receive Leto and carry her to Poseidon, god of the sea. Poseidon took her to the island of Ortygia (modern Delos) which having been risen from the sea since Hera’s edict was not subject to it. Clinging to a palm tree beneath Mount Cynthus, Leto began giving birth to Apollo and Artemis.

    Hera eventually learned to tolerate Leto after her children, Apollo and Artemis, were accepted as gods on Olympus.

    • sftheory1 Says:

      All the sources I know have Leto as being a second generation Titan (much like Zeus). What sources do you have for Leto as mortal/ dark witch? Greek myth had few witches (and Leto is not one of them).

  3. Carol Says:

    Artemis was born first and helped her mother Leto to deliver Apollo.

    Leto returned to Zeus’s favor despite Hera’s disapproval. , Leto was able to persuade Zeus to lighten his punishment toward Hera not to send her away.

  4. Titong Says:

    That’s why they can’t get along, is because they’re a big family; I can relate, and we don’t even have superpowers!🙂

    That’s one cool move indeed, using physics. I didn’t see it coming until the punch connected. War’s game plan is still an enigma to me. I’d say he stopped Diana because she was ready to beat the hell out of Artemis—likely, she thought her friends were fried—but seeing as he seems to revel still in mayhem, what for?

    Cassandra seems like a psycho, and I’m growing fond of Hera! That scene where she cuts off her sentence, and tend to Zola, that was really nice.🙂


    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I didn’t read her as about to beat the hell out of Artemis there. To me, particularly from the art, she didn’t seem particularly furious. But I agree with you about Ares and mayhem; maybe returning Artemis will cause more mayhem down the road.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t it odd that when Diana is allowed to win it’s against another woman? And she does it by being smarter than the other woman, but she seems to not be smarter than the men in her life?

  6. Karl Says:

    I havent seen the issue yet, but it sounds good from your review. Pity that Diana’s only to be seen in the fight scene tho instead of the entire book, from how I have interpreted it. I shall await it with anticipation. Sounds like the tide may finally be turning in this books favour. And I do welcome a Diana who uses her brains as well as her brawn in a fight, not before time either imo.
    anonymous got it spot on with how Diana only, seems to fight women, something that occurred often in Simone’s run, as if a man on woman fight would somehow be innapropriate or one-sided somehow. Has anyone else noticed this trend?.

  7. IronBerserk Says:

    I agree that overall this issue was miles better than the last few we’ve had. WW vs Artemis fight was great!

    I do wonder if WW would have struck Artemis dead if Ares hadn’t stepped in? It didn’t look like it but Ares comes into the picture grabbing WW hand and telling her Artemis isn’t worth killing. Is he implying that WW would have struck down a defeated foe and if so then why is it that Ares once again looks like a better moral character than WW?

    “In particular, the five pages set on Olympus that we’re getting every issue now are driving me crazy. They seem to exist only to rehash what we already know, and in an extremely drawn out manner.” i don’t think I agree with this. Correct me if I’m wrong but Apollo seems to want to change Olympus for the better, something that was just revealed this issue I believe. Did he mention this in the last ones? A part from wanting to kill the baby, Apollo seems to come off as a more competent ruler of Olympus than Zeus. An interesting point in my opinion.

    Nice review as always🙂

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      As I said in a comment above, I didn’t read that as Wonder Woman about to kill/seriously harm Artemis. But that just might be my take on it.

      It seems to me that Apollo wants to modernized Olympus, perhaps, but I don’t know if that makes it better. He seems as violent and power hungry as the rest of them to me.

  8. Carol Says:

    Artemis cannot die unless she is in battle with Centaur. The blood from a centaur will kill Artemis, Apollo, Ares, Hercules, Athena, Hera, Aphrodite, Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman-Princess Diana and all the Amazons. Gaia is the only one who can kill Zeus. She is the goddess of the Earth and source of all deities. She took care of Zeus when he was a baby. Rhena is mother did not want to take care of him. Cronus or Kronus his father wanted to devour Zeus, he did not want any heirs to his kingdom. Cronus or Kronus fled to Rome and become father of Jupitor and Juno.

    Artemis and Apollo in the ancient Greek and Roman world, they were the most worshipped and feared.

    • sftheory1 Says:

      The first comes from Hercules the Legendary Journeys, not the actual mythology. And the second? God of War series. Again, not the mythology.

      • Carol Says:

        Centaurs Blood comes from mythology this is how Hercules dies.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Actually, Hydra blood. Herakles routinely dipped his arrows in the blood of the Hydra. Some centaur had the hots for Herakles’s wife, got shot with poisoned arrow, told her to use his now poisoned blood, she does, and dead Herakles. But Herakles was not a god at that point. Only in death was his mortality shed and he ascended to Olympus.
        There is no mention in the sources of Centaurs’ blood being a poison to the gods themselves.

      • Carol Says:

        In Greek mythology, Nessus (Ancient Greek: Νέσσος) was a famous centaur who was killed by Heracles, and whose tainted blood in turn killed Heracles. He was the son of Centauros. He fought in the battle with the Lapiths. He became a ferryman on the river Euenos.

      • Carol Says:

        In Greek mythology, Nessus (Ancient Greek: Νέσσος) was a famous centaur who was killed by Heracles, and whose tainted blood in turn killed Heracles. He was the son of Centauros. He fought in the battle with the Lapiths. He became a ferryman on the river Euenos.

        Nessus is known for his role in the story of the Tunic of Nessus. After carrying Deianeira, the wife of Heracles, across the river, he attempted to steal her away. Heracles saw this from across a river and shot a Hydra-poisoned arrow into Nessus’s breast. As a final act of malice, Nessus told Deianeira, as he lay dying, that his blood would ensure that Heracles would be true to her forever.[1]

        Deianeira foolishly believed him. Later, when her trust began to wane because of Iole, she spread the centaur’s blood on a shirt and gave it to her husband. Heracles went to a gathering of heroes, where his passion got the better of him. Meanwhile, Deianeira accidentally spilled a portion of the centaur’s blood onto the floor. To her horror, it began to fume by the light of the rising sun.

        She instantly recognized it as poison and sent her messenger to warn Heracles but it was too late. Heracles lay dying slowly and painfully as the shirt burned his skin—either in actual flames or by the heat of poison. He died a noble death on a funeral pyre of oak branches, and was taken to Mount Olympus by Zeus and welcomed amongst the gods for his heroic exploits. A similar theme appears in certain versions of the story of Medea.

      • sftheory1 Says:

        Still doesn’t kill a god. Just a hero who became a god later.

      • Carol Says:

        The most prominent uses of centaur blood in mythology was when it was used to kill Heracles. A Centaur named Nessus offered to bring Heracles and his wife Deïanira (Δηϊάνειρα – “Man-destroyer”) across a river. When the centaur tried to steal Heracles wife away from him, he shot the centaur with an arrow poised with the blood of the hydra. Before he died, Nessus told Deïanira that his blood was a powerful love potion and she should keep it in the event that her husband was ever unfaithful.

        Several years later, Heracles had been out on another adventure and his wife had heard rumors he had fallen for another woman named Iole, daughter of King Oechalia. She covered his favorite robe in the centaur’s blood and sent Lichas, a messenger, to deliver it to him in an attempt to win him back. When Heracles put on his robe, the poison burned his skin, when he tried to take off the robe, he took off his flesh too. Knowing that he would die soon, he ripped up a few olive trees and created his funeral pyre. The blood eventually killed him, much to his wife’s horror. With the help of a friend, it was set fire with Heracles on the pile, this way burning his mortal part and ascending to Olympus. Horrified at what she had done, Deïanira subsequently kills herself with a sword.

  9. Carol Says:

    Rhea not Rhena sorry for mistake…..Rhea was Titaness daughter of the sky god Uranus and the earth goddess Gaia.
    Then she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story:
    He was then raised by Gaia,
    He was suckled by his first cousin, a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, soldiers, or smaller gods, shouted and clashed their swords together to make noise so that Cronus would not hear the baby’s cry,
    He was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea, who fed him goat milk. Since Cronus ruled over the earth, the heavens, and the sea and swallowed all of the children of Rhea, Adamanthea hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea, and sky and thus, invisible to his father.

  10. Carol Says:

    Why does Wonder Woman-Princess Diana has to nearly kill her half-sister Artemis?

  11. Carol Says:

    Artemis is and was the goddess of the Amazons….Her temple of Temple of Artemis or Temple of Diana or Temple of Epheus which is the 7th Wonder of the World. Which the ruins is in Turkey, Epheus. Women all over Rome, Greece would trained there to be Amazons.

  12. Carol Says:

    Titan-They were immortal huge beings of incredible strength and stamina and were also the first pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses. The Titans were overthrown by a race of younger gods, the Olympians, in the Titanomachy (“War of the Titans”).

    Some Accounts state these Titan gods, goddesses had no power but Strength, Stamia.

    Some accounts only the goddess Gaia, the goddess of the earth had any real power which Zeus must obey since she helped raise him and his own mother Rhea and Cronus did not want.

    Cronus fled to Rome and change his name to Saturn and was the father of Jupiter and Juno.

  13. Your Senior Drill Instructor Says:

    This was probably the best issue since #12. That was one helluva fight scene, wasn’t it? Makes me even more excited for the confrontation with the First Born.

    Hera’s development has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the last 9 issues or so. I think being mortal has given her a greater appreciation of life and the kindness that Diana and Zola have shown her have really softened her up. However, they do need to keep her away from the reality TV shows so that she doesn’t become corrupted by them .🙂

    Could Cassandra be the sister that Milan spoke of in #15? If I’m not mistaken, Lennox mentioned that his altercation with that sister took place 17 years ago, but Cassandra stated that she and Lennox last crossed paths 30 years ago.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Good catch on the time discrepancy. After this issue, I just assumed that Cassandra was the sister they were talking about in #15, but the time doesn’t match up. Either Lennox has done bad stuff to a lot of his sisters, or it was an editorial snafu. I’m leaning towards the latter, but you never know.

  14. Carol Says:

    Gaia (pron.: /ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Gē Γῆ, “land” or “earth”; also Gaea, or Ge) was the goddess or personification of Earth in ancient Greek religion. one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants were born from her union with Uranus (the sky), while the sea-gods were born from her union with Pontus (the sea). Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.

    Zeus was born Gaia took the child into her care, and in place of Zeus, Rhea gave Cronus a stone wrappe Zeus defeated the Titansd in swaddling-clothes, which he swallowed.With Gaia’s advice.

    Oaths sworn in the name of Gaia, in ancient Greece, were considered the most binding of all.

  15. Carol Says:

    Leto (pronounced LEE-toe) is the Greek Goddess of motherhood and the oracles of the day. She is the daughter of the Titans Phoebe and Koios, sister of Asteria, Goddess of the oracles of the night. Leto’s role as Goddess of oracles, symbolized by her modest dress and veil, was overshadowed when she became a mother, and most mentions of her in myth are in relation to her children.

    Where her sister Asteria had fled from Zeus’s lustful attentions, Leto went to him willingly, and may even have been married to him before Hera. When she was pregnant with Zeus’s children, the twins Artemis and Apollo, Hera chased her relentlessly and threatened anyone who thought to help Leto. Finally, her sister Asteria, who had turned into an island rather than submit to Zeus, offered her a place to give birth.

    There are several versions of the myths surrounding the births of the twins. In one, Artemis was born first and then assisted her mother with the birth of Apollo. Some sources add to this that Artemis was born nine days before Apollo. In another version, Leto was attended by the Titan Goddesses Dione, Rhea, Theia, Themis, and Amphitrite.

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