The first installment of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ new digital-first series starring the Amazing Amazon, debuted online today. The online issues will be collected three at a time as a monthly paper series starting on August 20, but I’ve decided to review them weekly as they’re released digitally every Wednesday, mostly because I am very excited for decent Wonder Woman comics and don’t want to wait.
Beloved Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone is back to launch the series, along with artist Ethan van Sciver. In what appears to be post-Crisis but pre-New 52 continuity, Gotham City has been besieged by a coterie of super-villains and, with all of Gotham’s heroes out of commission, Oracle decides to call in Wonder Woman to clean up the mess. Wonder Woman versus the Bat-villains is a fun idea, and overall the comic is quite enjoyable.
Simone’s writing in this issue was reminiscent of what I liked and didn’t like about her run on Wonder Woman a few years back. In terms of dialogue, I find Simone’s Wonder Woman too formal and stilted, like she just stepped off the invisible jet for the first time and hasn’t at all adapted to modern society. Wonder Woman should be an outsider, but I think that Simone leans into that a bit too much. However, Simone absolutely understands how bad ass and cool Wonder Woman should be. She battles Man-Bat, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze with complete confidence, taunting them as she takes them down with relative ease. There’s a self-assuredness to Simone’s Wonder Woman that I absolutely love.
Simone also has a knack for big moments, and that last page is so much fun. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it yet, but it’s a great way to end the book and a fantastic set up for Part Two of the story next week. The poor Bat-villains don’t even have a chance now.
Van Sciver’s art has never been my favourite. His sense of proportion is hit and miss, and I find that his faces sometimes don’t look quite right; they’re halfway between realistic and stylized and they just strike me as odd. While the issue wasn’t bad by any means, van Sciver’s just not my cup of tea and several pages felt a little rushed. On the plus side, the first appearance of Wonder Woman turned out quite nice:
So well done on a killer reveal there.
In terms of the story itself, it was great to see Oracle again. She’s such a good character, and I’ve missed her in the DC universe since the New 52 began. Simone writes her wonderfully as well, so this was the ideal comeback for her.
That being said, this is the first issue of a new Wonder Woman comic, and it took a while for Wonder Woman to actually show up. We got a lot of Oracle and Bat-villain mayhem before Wonder Woman arrived to save the day. Once Wonder Woman shows up, she takes over the book entirely and starts busting up the bad guys in awesome fashion, but we don’t see her until halfway through the issue. Maybe if the first half had been more about building up Wonder Woman’s arrival it would have worked a little better. While there was some of that, there were also a lot of villain shenanigans.
I feel like this story will read a lot better once we’ve got the second part, which looks like it’s going to be an epic beat down of the Bat-villains by Wonder Woman and her associates. Given the way that digital comics are published, we’ve only got half the story here and it all might be better as a whole.
As it is, it’s a fun start to an exciting new series. I mean, it’s a comic where Wonder Woman beats up Mr. Freeze. Whatever other small qualms I have about the issue, what more could you want than that? It’s a very good time, and the book is primed to be even more epic and enjoyable next week.
Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #1 is available online now. You should definitely go check it out!