Hot dang, you guys, this book is pretty. I haven’t been overly impressed with a lot of the art we’ve gotten thus far in Sensation Comics, but this week’s digital issue is absolutely gorgeous. Plus, it’s got Wonder Woman in a rock band, so what more could you want out of a comic? It was a fun, one and done issue that made excellent use of the series’ eschewing of continuity to present a cool new take on Wonder Woman.
Rock star Wonder Woman is something we’ve seen a lot of here and there over the past few years, though just in sketches and prints. Cliff Chiang’s done a couple of great pieces, and other artists have followed suit. It’s a big month for superhero rock stars generally; the new Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman in Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is in a rock band called The Mary Janes.
I’m glad that someone’s finally picked up on the concept’s popularity and done a story about it, though there’s not much to the band part other than beginning the show at a concert. After a couple pages, Wonder Woman’s off without her band, having her own adventures. Nonetheless, the first few pages were pretty rad.
Sean E. Williams’ has crafted a fairly simple story with some nice moments. Wonder Woman meets some fans and they have dinner together, before Wonder Woman takes down a dude who’s harassing her. I liked the way the story addressed Wonder Woman’s autonomy and self-confidence. When a heckler told her that she corrupting children with her skimpy outfit, another guy told him to back off because Wonder Woman was hot. She then informed them both that she doesn’t care about either of their opinions and that she dresses for herself, not to impress or provoke anyone. Later, the guy who called Wonder Woman hot returned and got aggressive, and when he touched her she made very clear that you should never touch a woman without her permission.
Both of the scenes were perhaps slightly on the nose, but they worked for me. I think these kinds of stories that flat out declare the rights of women and the importance of being yourself for yourself are important. While adults might not always like this more blatant approach, these are good messages to communicate directly to younger readers, and they suit the book. This is a story with fun art where Wonder Woman is in a rock band; this book is made for little girls.
The handling of the girl who can’t eat at the diner because she’s too poor was less effective for me because Wonder Woman’s solution was far too basic. Buying her a meal was a momentary solution, not any kind of meaningful, impactful change, and I think Wonder Woman would be the type of gal who went a little deeper into things. The girl’s mom worked three jobs and could barely make ends meet; buying her one dinner is not particularly helpful. I know ending a comic book with something like a rally to increase the minimum wage is hardly exciting superhero adventures, but that would be the kind of response this problems needs, not a free meal.
The book tells a small but enjoyable story, but the art is what really makes this a stand out issue. Marguerite Sauvage absolutely killed it, both with the art and the colouring. The line art itself is fantastic. Sauvage’s characters are expressive and beautifully rendered, and while this is a different take on the character with the whole rock star angle, Sauvage definitely captures the grace and power of Wonder Woman. Plus, the clothes are really cool. A lot of comic book artists aren’t great with casual clothes, but Sauvage nailed it. She tweaked Wonder Woman’s costume to give her more of a rock star vibe, but also gave her a cool jacket for walking around. And the kids looked like kids, wearing fun outfits that you’d see anywhere. It all felt very modern and fresh. Take a peek:
The colouring is lovely as well. The characters were all well done, but even more interesting was how Sauvage did the backgrounds. Rather than colouring each individual thing in the background, she used a blanket colour over everything and it worked really well, especially against the more detailed colour work in the foreground. She also used this background colour to communicate the mood of the scene, at times even bleeding it into the characters. When the man touched Wonder Woman in an unwanted way, Wonder Woman had more of a red tone. Sauvage used red again when the man pulled out a shotgun, capturing his anger, but when Wonder Woman bent back his fun and sent him running, the panel was coloured yellow to show his fear. It’s really beautiful work, and the whole issue was quite stunning to look at.
This was definitely one of my favourite issues of the series thus far, in large part due to the gorgeous art. If you’ve got daughters or nieces or what have you, I think this would be a great Wonder Woman story to show them. The story is a lot of fun and the art is modern and cool, plus it’s got some good messages as well. I was really pleased to see such a different take on Wonder Woman, and I hope that Sensation Comics continues to mix it up like this.