Smallville Season 11 #16 Review OR A Fantastic New Take On Wonder Woman


I am definitely out of the Smallville loop.  I watched the last season of the TV show after losing interest in it a few seasons before, just waiting to see him finally put on the suit, but I haven’t been following the comics at all.  From the solicits, it’s looked like a lot was going on, with Batman showing up and the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes and whatnot.  The book seems quite eventful.  Luckily, you don’t need to know much about Smallville to enjoy this issue, and you can pick up what’s going on if you read closely.  This is a good thing, because you should DEFINITELY check out this comic.  It’s absolutely fantastic.

I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it yet, so I’ll save spoilery thoughts until the end, where they’ll be well-marked.  Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez’s approach to Wonder Woman is exactly what I want in a re-imagined character: It does new things while maintaining a clear influence from what’s come before.  It’s a new take on Diana, made to fit within the Smallville universe, but it retains key elements of the Wonder Woman mythos as well as several nods to past incarnations.

The biggest change (in the first issue, at least; more will probably come) is Diana’s connection to Steve Trevor.  The way Miller and Jimenez have changed up their first meeting is very clever and enjoyable, and the flashbacks are some of the most fun Wonder Woman scenes I’ve read in years.  Themyscira and the Amazons are still at the core of Wonder Woman’s origin, but we get a different Diana than we’re used to seeing.  You know when you enjoy something so much that you won’t tell your friends ANYTHING about it other than that they have to check out?  Trust me, gang, you HAVE to check this out.

In man’s world, Diana has yet to take the mantle of Wonder Woman and is in street clothes instead of a costume, though as we just saw with the November solicits, the costume is coming.  Her all-white outfit here is a clear nod to the mod era, though it’s been updated to more modern clothing:


Diana is everything you’d expect; she saves the good guys, fights the bad guys, and calls the ladies “sister.”  She’s new to Washington, D.C., and isn’t overly impressed with it, but she and Lois seem to get along pretty well.

The villain is Felix Faust, and I’m glad to see they’ve changed his outfit to something less ridiculous.  He leads a cult with an unspecified nefarious plan, though it seems to involve Diana, the DEO, and a promise made to Faust by a dark master.  He’s got ties to some seriously unpleasant folks, like a horde of nasty valkyries.

The writing is great, and made me realize how much I’ve missed Bryan Q. Miller.  His Batgirl series was such a good time, and the New 52 is sorely lacking the vibe that Miller brings to a book.  The story moves along at a good clip while still having lots of nice, smaller moments.  Clark grabbing a girl’s teddy bear for her was a particularly pleasant little beat.  All together, the issue is just a blast to read.

Plus, the art is fantastic.  I don’t think I’ve seen much of Jorge Jimenez’s art before, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for it now.  The life and fun he brings to the Themyscira scenes is some of the most enjoyable art I’ve seen in ages (seriously, gang, you should buy the book just to check out those scenes), and his work with the other characters is reminiscent of the actors we’re used to while he brings his own style to the table as well.

Overall, I LOVED this comic.  It’s so much fun, and I can’t wait to read the next issue.  I might have to just get the digital editions weekly to spare myself the month-long torture until the next book is out.  It’s a great take on Diana, and a really solid read all around.  This is what a Wonder Woman/Superman team-up book should be like.


Seriously, don’t read this if you haven’t read the comic yet!

I’ll be mad at you if you do!

Do yourself a personal favour and just go enjoy the book first!

Young Diana and Steve!  It’s such a great idea, and so completely adorable.  The execution on both the writing and art are perfect, and I love this idea like crazy.  I want a book that’s all young Diana running around Themyscira, breaking the rules while smug, bratty Artemis tries to spoil her fun.  She kept Steve as a pet!  And made a football!  Good lord, I love it so much.

I’m curious to see how connected Diana is to Steve and the DEO.  She seemed surprised to see him at the end of the issue, so my guess is that they’re not working together, but that Faust is going after the DEO and Diana suggests that there must be some sort of connection.

I’m also wondering about Diana’s blood, and the “godhood” Faust could feel surging through it.  Might Diana be the daughter of Zeus, like in New 52 continuity?  Or is something else going on?  In most Wonder Woman origins, Diana is a baby made of clay brought to life by the gods, but I don’t know if that would add godhood to her blood.  My suspicion is that there’s a more direct connection.

Anyway, what a great issue!  I’m excited to see what happens next.


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4 Responses to “Smallville Season 11 #16 Review OR A Fantastic New Take On Wonder Woman”

  1. Natasha (@since1938) Says:

    Yes to all of this. This series has been exactly what is needed since the inception of the New 52. It’s fun, it has heart, and it’s exactly what a Superman fan is looking for in their heroes of this mythos.

    But seriously, you should read the entire series. The Detective arc is a stand out as well as Haunted and Valkyrie. Argo was a joy as well as Guardian and Effigy…and I’ve just named all of the arcs, so that means read everything LOL.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I’m definitely going to go back and check out the book now, if this issue is any indication of what it’s been like. I was extremely impressed with it, and it’s good to hear that the rest of it has been fun as well.

  2. Karl Says:

    Well you certainly made me want to run to my local comics shop [even tho I get them by mail order] to get this issue.
    A friend was asking me just the other day about how WW was going to be portrayed in this tv to comics spin-off and I couldnt tell them anything [cos I didnt know anything] so your news comes as a welcome relief. I’ll let him buy it for himself though, instead of telling him[!].
    So Diana is FINALLY given a worthwhile story and character…I just cant wait, thanks for the recommendation.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I think you’ll enjoy it! You can also pick up the digital versions through comixology if you don’t want to wait for paper. This issue collects #56-58, I think. Let me know how you like it!

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