This review’s a little late because my cousin is getting married this weekend (congrats to Jeff and Heidi!) and I spent Thursday cooking food for various wedding functions and attending a mini-golf bachelor party (I came in second!). That may be for the better, though, because after a long day it was enjoyable to come home and read a fun, new Wonder Woman story.
This week’s digital issue of Sensation Comics reminded me of last week’s, in that it promised me one story and gave me another. Last week, we only got a couple of pages of rock star Wonder Woman before she went on to other things, and this week I was really looking forward to a Wonder Woman and Etta Candy team-up, only to have Etta sidelined by Deadman taking over her body. I love me some Deadman, but I love me some Etta Candy more, so that was a bit of a disappointment. But still, it was a pretty fun issue.
I mean, Wonder Woman and Deadman team up to fight Ra’s al Ghul. That’s just good comics. Neil Kleid told the story well, with a light touch that fit the art and the Silver Age hijinks vibe of the issue. There was a lot of busting up of goons and foiling of evil plans, which is always a good time. I also enjoyed Wonder Woman’s complete incredulity about the existence of ghosts. She was in no way onboard, and I loved the idea that she definitely knows there are supernatural things out there because of her Greek mythological connections but she’s still skeptical about ghosts. And also not completely closed minded, either. She came around.
The story was perhaps a bit too expository at times; I understand that you have to explain who Deadman is, given that it’s a Wonder Woman series, but the constant discussion of who he is and what he does went on a bit long. But what we didn’t get was an on the nose valuable lesson, which we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. While I usually like a good feminist lesson in a Wonder Woman story, recently they’ve been numerous and slightly obvious in Sensation Comics, and a story that’s just straight up adventuring is a fun change of pace.
Dean Haspiel’s art is a good fit for the story though, somewhat oddly, the highlight of this Wonder Woman comic book is his take on Deadman. I liked what he did with the emaciated, dead guy look; he’s dead and a little bit gross, but it’s in no way over the top. Haspiel went full on Golden Age with Wonder Woman’s costume, which I loved. The flat-bottomed tiara, white belt, and star-spangled shorts are a classic look. His Ra’s al Ghul was great, too. That green suit is hard to make work, but with this cartoonish style it really fit in.
All in all, this was a fun issue apart from the lack of Etta Candy. Your mileage will definitely vary on that point. For me, Etta is one of my favourite characters and I think she’s severely underused, so to have her here but not here for the story was a small letdown. However, some Etta is better than no Etta at all, and I really hope that future Sensation Comics stories will use her more.
Finally, a programming note for the print version. This story has the Adam Hughes cover that’s attached to Sensation Comics #4, out in November, not the Ivan Reis cover attached to Sensation Comics #3, out in October. The solicits confirm this, and we won’t be getting this story in print until November, even though stories in the October issue haven’t been released digitally yet. DC’s digital comics are usually a little wonky like that, so this is nothing new. Just pay attention to the covers attached to the digital releases; that’s the comic they’ll be in, usually.