Wonder Woman #37 Review OR What Did I Do To Deserve A Book This Bad?


I don’t even know where to start with this hot mess of an issue. This is an astonishingly bad comic book in general, and an even worse Wonder Woman comic. The last page should make me so happy, but it just makes me sad. All of the pages before it are no better, and for SO many reasons. I’m having trouble recalling a Wonder Woman comic that was ever this bad, and I’ve read ALL of the Wonder Woman comics. These people do not know what they are doing. It’s a train wreck, but not the kind where you can’t look away. I’d be glad to run as far away from this book as possible, if Wonder Woman wasn’t my beat here. Anyway, let’s talk about this catastrophe, but first:


I am fixing to tell you all of the ridiculous things that happened in this comic, so be warned!

Though I know a lot of you are reading this instead of the comic, which I can understand!

It’s a really bad book!

Let’s start with some small things and then get to the big things. Wonder Woman has a lot of feelings, gang. She’s just overwhelmed by everything. Check out this panel from her conversation with Clark, where she reacts strongly to the his suggestion that she may have reached her breaking point:


This is not how Wonder Woman rolls. She’s a damn warrior princess. She handles her business and keeps on trucking because that’s what an Amazon does. It’s not that Wonder Woman can’t have emotions or get overwhelmed by stuff. She’s not a robot. But she IS Wonder Woman. She doesn’t need to flip out and unload her troubles on a dude in every single issue.

Add to that this storyline where some random old Amazon lady is trying to make her choose between being a superhero and an Amazon queen, and you’ve basically got a book about a woman struggling to have it all. Which is ridiculous when that woman is Wonder Woman. If anyone can balance a myriad of responsibilities, it’s her. This plot is such a flawed approach to the character. Plus it reeks of a ridiculously dated take on female characters generally; this sort of thing was getting old when it was the angle of every female-led television show in the 1990s. Wonder Woman is SO much better than the story they are giving her.

Aside from the bad story, the art is a rough scene too. When David Finch was announced as the book’s artist, me and pretty much everyone familiar with his work was concerned that his style might be too sexy for Wonder Woman. And guess what? Yeah, it really is. I was hoping he’d tone things down a bit for a feminist icon, but not so much. There’s a scene where Wonder Woman goes into battle in special armour, and the chest plate doesn’t even cover her belly. It’s ARMOUR. It has a very specific purpose. Armour that bares your midriff is useless armour. Finch also poses Wonder Woman in odd ways; even when she’s just standing around, her hips are cocked slightly so as to stick her rear out a little bit.

Worst of all, we’ve got Amazon butt crack. I’m not even kidding. There’s an Amazon gal wearing little more than a loincloth around her nether regions, and in one panel we see her from behind and we can see some definite butt crack, bent over plumber style:


This is a WONDER WOMAN comic book. We should not be getting butt crack.

Nor should we be getting Amazons colluding with evil witches to sacrifice babies, but here we are. The degradation of the Amazons is a pet peeve of mine. I hated what Azzarello did to them, turning them into rapists and murderers, but at least in their present interactions they didn’t behave like monsters to each other. There were quarrels, but ultimately they all worked together. Now, there are factions of the Amazons full on rebelling against Diana. The weird old lady Amazon and her associates are actively working with a sorceress to take down Wonder Woman, though we have yet to see a really good reason why other then they’re not happy to have the Manazons around. I hate when Amazons are jerks, and I hate when Amazons backstab each other. They are supposed to be better than us; it’s kind of their thing. Making them cackling, conniving villains is the worst. And also very 1990s. This book would have been ALL the rage with fanboys in 1993.

This sorceress collusion leads us to the big reveal at the end of the issue: The return of Donna Troy. I love Donna Troy, so I should be happy to have her back, but bringing her back buck naked via the cauldron of an evil sorceress bent on destroying the Amazons is pretty much the last way I wanted to see her return, especially with such a subpar creative team at the helm. The return of Donna Troy should be exciting. It’s been years since we’ve seen her! And yet my only reaction was, “Oh no, now she’s been dragged into this mess of a book too.” I could not possibly be less excited about this turn of events. All that I can hope for at this point is that she comes out of this storyline relatively unscathed and can find a home somewhere else in the DC universe with writers and artists who will do her justice. Secret agent Donna Troy might be fun in Grayson, perhaps.

So basically, I liked nothing about this comic book. I actively hated most of it, to be quite frank. I have seen nothing in these first two issues that suggests that Meredith and David Finch have any understanding of Wonder Woman, much less the ability to tell an interesting and engaging story. The whole thing is a mishmash of clichéd ideas about female characters, sexy adolescent Amazons except for the one super old one who is of course evil, and senseless shock value. It’s rough all around, and I really can’t see how it could get any better. I can’t believe I have months of this ahead of me.


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23 Responses to “Wonder Woman #37 Review OR What Did I Do To Deserve A Book This Bad?”

  1. Green Says:

    Scoot Snyder needs to write WW sooner than later.

  2. Vonter Voman (@VonterVoman) Says:

    The more I think about the issue, the more I see how it’s all over the place. The old crone is doing the ritual stuff to bring Donna before the 2nd attack of the birds. After that the council makes the ultimatum, but she already bringed Donna back to take Diana’s place. Then the birds attack again, and the old crone simply appears outside to be almost attacked by one bird. And then in the end we have a scene that was supposed to happen before, when the ritual was taking place, but of course it had to be in the end to make the cliffhanger. It’s like it’s supposed to be out of order, but it doesn’t have any structure to make it work.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I agree. Just structurally, the book is all over the place with no real rhyme or reason to it. The Finches are bad at making comics in a multitude of ways. It’d be impressive if it wasn’t so unpleasant.

  3. Vonter Voman (@VonterVoman) Says:

    Now I’m just wondering if those creepy monsters were the Titans. That would tie more to some of Donna’s origins.

  4. Vonter Voman (@VonterVoman) Says:

    As for the art, I think it’s funny how it’s like David wanted to go full cheesecake, but can’t. I also think it’s pretty lazy, even in a lot of close scenes it’s just a bunch of strokes. I didn’t notice the buttcrack, that was funny. Sorry for the 3 posts, I always have something to add after I posted.

  5. Jan Arrah (@JanArrah) Says:

    What did you do to deserve this? Supported Azzarello for 3 years 😛 lol. This is the baby of all his bad ideas. Meredith Finch is still running with all his terrible ideas and the lack of a fully developed heroine. She isn’t capable of handling this or writing it well and the fact that her hubby seems to have a good bit of pull on where the story goes based on what he wants to draw just makes it all that much worse. But really.. everything here and highlighted here (except the terrible Superman/WW relationship, which he refused to even talk about for 3 years, so the Meredith Finch has to remind us every issue that they’re dating) is Azzarello’s mess. And yeah it’s crap. but WE ALL KNEW THAT long before Meredith Finch was even announced. I’ve been saying the next writer, whomever they were, would have a mess to deal with and I think Diana is in a lot of ways (constantly spouting off about how she’s overwhelmed) parroting Meredith Finch’s own feelings about being the writer on Wonder Woman. She’s overwhelmed. Too much to develop, figure out, explain and she had no help from the previous writer on any level on how to go about this.. add to the fact that she’s a new writer and her husband also seems to be adding pressure to her.. She’s overwhelmed and she’s venting it through Azzarello.

    DC get it right now. Convergence is coming. Just stop this atrocity then, relaunch with new creative team and completely new direction. Act like the last 3 years of Wonder Woman stories haven’t happened. Turn Superman/WW into a buddy book, not a romance book and.. EVERYTHING WILL SUDDENLY BE BETTER.

    P.S. I hear Kurt Busiek wants to write Wonder Woman.. just an idea for you DC.

    • Jan Arrah (@JanArrah) Says:

      er I meant she’s venting it through Wonder Woman. Using Wonder woman as a place for her own feelings. Not through Azzarello of course.

      • Jeppe Dittmer Says:

        Jan Arrah, I don’t think we actually disagree all that much on this issue. Obviously DC is the one to really blame in all this since they approved Brian Azzarello’s original take on the character, and who knows maybe even pushed for all those negative changes, and then they went on to hire an inexperienced writer to replace him when Azzarello was done. It’s just that in your first three posts you made it sound (to me) like the current travesty that is Wonder Woman #36 and #37 was somehow more Azzarello’s fault than the creative team actually making the comics, and that just seemed really unfair to me, as well as letting the Finches off the hook too easily. I agree that Azzarello did very little to flesh out Diana as a character, but precisely because he did not give Diana much characterization we can’t blame him when another writer comes along and gives Diana bad characterization. A character that is fleshed out badly can be a lot worse than a character that is barely fleshed out at all. The big problem with the Finchs’ take on WW is not that it is too similar to Azzarello’s, but rather that it focuses on the stuff that was already bad in the Azzarello run (WW being the god of war, the man hating amazons, and the amazons not liking Diana), while adding new bad stuff on top of it (the cheesecake art, WW not having her shit together and needing a male shoulder to cry every issue), and destroying the redeeming qualities of the Chiang/Azzarello run in the process (Diana always seemed strong, fierce and powerful, even while being constantly duped by the gods).
        Also, no I don’t think DC would let Meredith Finch make meaningful changes to the new52 continuity, if she even wanted to, and I would not be surprised if there is some kind of editorial mandate to include Superman and the JLA, but unless she is straight up taking dictation it is still within her power as a writer to choose what stories to tell and what to focus on (within the constraints of a work-for-hire property like Wonder Woman of course).

        Like I said, I don’t think we really disagree that much, I just don’t see the logic in you’re argument. Why can’t we judge if Meredith Finch gets WW or not? What is on the page, is what is on the page. Even if Meredith actually had more experience as a writer, how would that change anything about these particular comics? You obviously don’t like Brian Azzarello’s take on WW (and I understand why), so I’m going to assume that you don’t think he gets WW. But when you make that assessment, are you not making that based on his work on the character? I mean Azzarello has written a lot of other comics besides WW, do you somehow include his work on 100 bullets and Joker when deciding if he gets WW or not?
        But I get it. You’re main point is that between the establish new52 continuity, DC editorial and her own husband, there might simply be too many cooks in the kitchen, and a totally green writer like Meredith Finch doesn’t have the necessary leverage to push through all that and make this comic her own, an therefor it is not fair to judge or rather blame the quality of the comic on her performance. And I get that argument, I even kind of sympathies with it. But 1) we don’t know if this is actually the case. Maybe Meredith has really free reign from DC editorial, and her husband is minding his own business. And 2) Even if that is not the case, she is still credited as writer, and that means she gets the blame and the honors. If the current WW comic was blowing us away with its awesomeness we would be singing the Finches praise, but since it isn’t they get the blame instead that is just how it works.
        If we didn’t held creators responsible for the things they create, it would be nearly impossible to have any kind of meaningful discussion and evaluation of their work.

        Oh… And on the Gail Simone thing. My point with bringing her up, was precisely that she didn’t ignore what came before, but found a way to tell compelling stories while continuing the shit continuity that she’d been handed. I agree that Meredith Finch probably lack the writing chops to pull something like that off, my point was just that it is possible to tell good stories even within bad continuity.

    • Vonter Voman (@VonterVoman) Says:

      Soon Azzarello will be retroactively responsible for all the bad stuff that happened to WW pre-New 52. Too much delusions for me to take.

      • Jan Arrah (@JanArrah) Says:

        In a lot of ways, he is, though he is not the only one responsible. He is a huge reason why we don’t have a solid idea of who Wonder Woman is and why her origins and the Amazons are so openly misogynistic now. He spent 3 years avoiding defining the character in any way and DC didn’t force him, so every writer taking on Wonder Woman all had their own take and none can be wrong because in her own core title, she wasn’t defined. You can be angry at me for pointing that out, but it’s just a fact. He did nothing to define the character and he created a BUNCH of ideas and did little to nothing with them (like God of War, Zeus daddy, like the rape and murdering Amazons, like the amazons slavers, like the Manazons) and he really did little to talk about or show how Diana felt about them even while her entire world was coming apart.. she just ran off to kill Gods so others wouldn’t kill them first!

        Fyi, you can trace a lot of issues with Post-Crisis Wonder Woman directly back to Perez’s relaunch.. so Azzarello’s version and it’s lasting effects will be blamed for things that it created.

      • thethemysciran Says:

        I do think you make a good point. If the Amazons were still utopian, would Meredith be doing this? No. It would still probably be a bland book at best, but maybe not as offensive. Azzarello (or the editorial powers that be, let’s face it DC has had no love for Amazons for a long time now) did kind of give her this rope to hang herself with.

      • Jeppe Dittmer Says:

        I think you (Jan Arrah) misunderstands the importance of continuity. It’s not that continuity isn’t important, because it is, it’s just that bad continuity doesn’t prevent one from writing good stories. Sure if the writer chooses to use bad continuity as the basis of her story, like Meredith Finch seems to be doing, then she has already made her job that much harder, but it is not like that is an impossible hurdle to overcome.
        Think about the continuity shit fest that Gail Simeon got handed when she took over WW (Amazons Attack *shudder*), and she none the less manage to write one of the best runs on the character (a low bar to be sure but still).

        Having not read the latest issue myself I cannot speak on this from personal experience, but based on Tim’s review it sounds like the biggest problem with Meredith Finch’s writing is that she misunderstand WW in a way similar to David E. Kelley’s failed Tv-pilot, that is to say, she writes WW as a modern career woman with too much going on in her life, thinking that that will some how make the character real and relatable.

      • Jan Arrah (@JanArrah) Says:

        @Jeppe.. You seem to think a brand new writer to comics on a title with a 3 year history that fans called epic and the best run in the history of Wonder Woman and comics in general really has the pull to be able to ignore what came before her? I don’t think Meredith Finch has the experience to do that first of all and I don’t think DC would let her even if she wanted to. She’s written like a few short story comics before this and DC hired her anyhow. Also the editors on Wonder Woman are allowing her to put out these comics that aren’t very well written and mired in the continuity of the past, instead of helping her to improve.. which is bad too.

        I remember what Gail Simone had when she came on, but Gail Simone also had years of writing experience when she came on board. She was already a pretty big name thanks to Birds of Prey, so she had more writing chops to ignore what came before her. Also what came before her wasn’t heralded as remotely great by ANYONE, so it could easily be ignored and sales for Amazons Attack weren’t great if I remember correctly. People WANTED Gail to ignore the previous continuity and she could easily do that. She also made some missteps too though and her characterizations weren’t perfect.

        As for Meredith Finch not getting Wonder Woman, it’s impossible to tell. She’s a completely and utterly inexperienced writer, given a shit ton of baggage from a previous writers and stories that she seems to think that she has to deal with (which sales and the fan base seems to think she does have to if not DC editorial directly telling her that). Not to mention she’s got her husband doing art and seems to be pushing her in directions as well so he can draw things he wants to draw. So it’s really hard to tell if Meredith Finch just doesn’t get Wonder Woman, can’t write well, is overwhelmed by the previous continuity, is being pushed by her husband, or any number of other factors that we don’t know because.. We have nothing really to compare it against.
        If we were talking about an experienced writer with a long history and maybe a previous history writing comics (or even on Wonder Woman).. and they were writing like this, then we could point to some other factors.. but you can’t tell because.. we know next to nothing about her ability to tell stories PERIOD.. We also have NO CLUE how much of the previous incarnation is being forced on to her and how much she is choosing because.. she has NO WRITING EXPERIENCE. This is her first real gig.. and that means she’s more likely to be pushed around to tell what others want her to tell than what she wants to. I’m not saying that’s the case, but we really DO NOT KNOW and I can’t blame this completely on Meredith Finch because DC HIRED HER KNOWING SHE’D NEVER WRITTEN A COMIC BOOK and they handed her one of the most complex characters in comics that has NOT BEEN DEFINED by the previous writers (from Azzarello to Johns to Lemire to Soule).
        It’s also important to note that Peter Tomasi, who has written comics before and briefly written Wonder Woman in Batman and.. is really doing a terrible job of it too.. that leads me to believe there is more to this.. but it could just be Meredith Finch can’t write.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I think there was a lot more good than bad in the Azzarello run. I had definite problems with a lot of the choices he made, especially with the Amazons, but all in all it balanced out to an okay run for me, largely because the art was so lovely and Chiang captured Diana so well. I agree that a lot of what the Finches are doing is clearly based on Azzarello’s work, but it’s hackneyed and awful across the board. It doesn’t matter who they followed, they do not have the talent or appreciation for the character to make a decent Wonder Woman book, even in the most perfect of circumstances.

      • Jan Arrah (@JanArrah) Says:

        Yeah I’m not saying Meredith Finch could handle this book ever because.. I’m pretty sure she can’t, but.. DC hired her knowing she had no experience and gave her this to work with. Maybe in a few years of writing something less difficult and better defined, she could have actually done a good job.. but.. no matter who picked up this book, they had a LOT to either ignore completely or figure out and I don’t think DC is willing to allow people to ignore Azzarello’s run completely (not unless they got a really big name.. and they obviously chose someone who wasn’t a big name for a reason). It’s quite possible DC chose Meredith Finch because they knew she couldn’t undo Azzarello’s run and they just hoped she wouldn’t write something too unreadable and after all there are people that seem to be liking this thus far. Idk why, but they do.
        I just can’t blame Meredith Finch for being in over her head on this title because I honestly think it was GROSSLY unfair of DC to put her on this title period. They should have built her up more, given her co-writing status with someone else on another title.. maybe done Lobo or one-shots.. given her more experience before throwing her on this book because she’s just not experienced. She doesn’t know what she’s doing and she’s got a bunch of people obviously telling her where to go and what to do and she’s listening because she’s just not experienced enough to know where to go. Maybe this will eventually make her a better writer, but.. I know how I feel when I’ve been thrown into the deep end and just expected to swim and I just think this is TOO MUCH for any new inexperienced writer to handle.. so yeah.. I’m going to not blame her completely because she’s new and inexperienced and just trying to do her best and she’s failing, but I think it’s more her safety net of editors and what not that are failing her. And ultimately it COULD mean that Meredith Finch just can’t write well, but it’s too early in her career to tell and she’s been given one of the most complex and undefined characters in comics to deal with and a shit ton of baggage that she obviously feels she has to deal with. And nobody is advising her to just tell her stories, tell them well, and forget the rest.. and they really should. SOMEONE should be telling her the truth that this isn’t very good and helping her.. and DC should get a co-writer in there ASAP.

      • Keith O'Neil Says:

        Jarrah, I do not think that someone should tell her that this isn’t very good. SHE should know. She willingly refused to do any research on Wonder Woman, she has claimed to not have read any WW books in the past- so, honestly, she deserves this. An insecure writer fears reading the work that others have done with the character because they fear their voice will get drowned. A GOOD writer reads the works of others so they know what they can build upon and what has been established. Raping Amazons? Diana could change that.
        But no. Meredith decided to go the insecure and lazy way- just like her husband lathers his lazy art on every page and cares very little about what kind of art is appropriate for the Wonder Woman mythos. He just wants boobs and butt cracks, while his wife cranks out their writing equivalent.

        I’m sorry, but if you don’t do your homework, you deserve the F.

  6. Ben Herman: In My Not So Humble Opinion Says:

    “What Did I Do To Deserve A Book This Bad?”

    Tim, as the old saying goes… You pays your money, and you takes your chances 🙂

    I realize that you are a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman. But this appears to be one of those instances where your unwavering devotion to the character is misplaced. If the act of reading Wonder Woman by David & Meredith Finch is so genuinely unpleasant, perhaps you should vote with your wallet and drop this series ASAP.

    As I have said before, I do understand where you are coming from. In the 1990s, when I was in high school and college, there were a lot of series I followed that I did not esepcially enjoy, but I just kept purchasing them, month after month, either out of misguided loyalty to the characters or because I thought I would be missing out on some crucial developments in long-running storylines.

    But eventually I got to the point where I had a huge pile of comic books that I had no interest in re-reading that were taking up space, and I realized I was basically throwing away my money. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self, “Self, do not buy any of those Captain America issues by Rob Liefeld! And stay away from the book when it switches over to Marvel Knights in 2002! As huge a fan of the character as you man be, it is just not worth subjecting yourself to brain-dead writing and horrible artwork!”

    It took me a looooooong time to realize this, but the fact is that readers can bitch & moan & scream to the heavens that a creative team sucks. But if those same people keep buying the comic book then the editors and the people above them have ZERO incentive to make any changes.

  7. Jessica Says:

    If you want to read a great Wonder Woman story, check out Sensation Comics 5 that just came out. I wish THAT creative team was on WW ALL the time. Just disregard the crappy generic cover. It has nothing to do with the interiors(Superman is on the cover but he’s nowhere in the story). I think Tim wrote a review of it and he liked it if I’m not mistaken.

  8. Ann Says:

    Ugh, can we also just talk about the dead woman’s totally exposed breast? I was looking at that panel (it’s right after Diana and Clark finish their talk) and kept thinking… why did you go to the trouble to draw this dead mother’s erect nipple in relief against the witches’ cauldron? Like… Just, why? Also, when Diana calls “Sound the alarm!” check out her hand. It’s… oddly clawlike? The art in this issue (and all you said about the writing is true) is just… not good.

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