Today is American Thanksgiving, though up here in Canada it’s just a normal Thursday with football on all day. Nonetheless, I am definitely thankful for one thing today: decent Wonder Woman comics. They are currently quite rare in the New 52, but every week we get a cool new Wonder Woman story from Sensation Comics. Some are better than others, of course, but thus far it’s been a consistently fun series and a pleasant respite from Wonder Woman’s dark adventures and awkward romance in the New 52.
This week’s story is such a treat that I suggest American readers enjoy it with their post-meal pie (conveniently, if the story sucked I also could have said it was a real turkey; Thanksgiving is handy for comic reviews). Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman take our favourite Amazon to Apokalips, which is template for all kinds of fun. It’s just the first of three parts, so there was a lot of setup, but it was excellent setup and I can’t wait to read the rest of the story over the next few weeks.
The plot is pretty simple: Wonder Woman goes to Apokalips to rescue a pair of missing Amazon spies, and gets into a big fight. But everything about it is so much fun. First, this is a world where Queen Hippolyta regularly sends Amazon spies to Apokalips to report on Darkseid’s evil plans. How fantastic is that? I love the idea of Hippolyta having Amazons scouts she can send to worrisome places to collect intelligence. I would definitely read a regular comic book about their adventures; it’s the coolest idea. When such a rad thing is just a jumping off point for the rest of the book, you know it’s going to be an awesome story.
So Wonder Woman goes to Apokalips, beats up a couple parademons and steals the armour from one of them so she can blend in, gets the scoop on her Amazons sisters from an untrustworthy shopkeeper, and then gets in a fight with a bunch of Furies. If that’s not the sort of comic book you want to read, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Wonder Woman infiltrating Apokalips is so entirely my jam.
The fight with the Furies ultimately goes south. Wonder Woman handles the first three with ease, but then a fourth shows up and shoot her with an explosive dart. You can hardly expect folks to fight fair on Apokalips. The issue ends with Wonder Woman being thrown into a fire pit, but given that there’s more issues of this storyline coming I’m going to assume she survives. Nonetheless, being thrown into the fiery depths of Apokalips is a pretty cool cliffhanger.
Bechko and Hardman have crafted a fun story, with so many great elements that Hardman illustrates well. He’s particularly good at capturing the harshness of Apokalips and its constant smoke and grime; it looks like an awful, alien, industrial wasteland, which exactly what you want out of Apokalips. My favourite bit is Wonder Woman disguised as a parademon, though. There’s something very enjoyable about a parademon with a golden lasso flying through Apokalips:
I love it. What’s great about Sensation Comics is that creators can go to town and come up with whatever crazy stuff they’d like to see, and Bechko and Hardman are embracing this entirely.
The only part of the issue I didn’t like is the cover. The cover rarely has anything to do with what’s going on inside, though there appear to be parademons reflected in Wonder Woman’s bracelets, so I’m hoping Superman doesn’t show up later in the story. I’m always annoyed when Wonder Woman has to share a cover with that dude, and that overly polished digital art rarely does much for me. Sensation Comics isn’t on a great run in terms of the covers accurately reflecting the fun going on inside the pages of the book.
But cover aside, this is a great issue, and should make for an awesome few weeks of stories. If you’re waiting on the print version, this full story will be available December 17. I heartily recommend picking it up; I can comfortably predict that it will be the best Wonder Woman comic on the stands that month, and by a considerable margin.