At the end of last week’s issue of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, our intrepid hero was about to embark on a fierce battle with a powerful foe: A dance off at the arcade with the local Dance Dance Retribution champion. They were perilous times indeed for the teenaged Amazon princess, but she proved herself up to the task. “Wonder World, Part 2” by James Tynion IV and Noelle Stevenson begins with Diana making quick work of her opponent with such furious dancing that he is unable to keep up and falls off of the dance pad. Diana, on the other hand, declares the game to be “pretty refreshing.” As per their wager, the boys leave the arcade and Diana claims her enemy’s skull t-shirt, which she wears triumphantly for the rest of the issue.
It’s an enjoyable beginning to an issue that just gets better from there. The vanquished boy returns later and Diana’s Amazons guards find her, but after her Dance Dance Retribution win, Tynion and Stevenson devote four dialogue free pages to Diana and her new friends just having fun. It’s something that we rarely see Diana get to do; when she’s with the Justice League, she’s fighting bad guys and saving the world, and in her own books she’s been wrapped up in dark adventures for several years now. The only time I can remember Diana doing anything fun recently is her blowing off steam at a punk club early in Azzarello and Chiang’s Wonder Woman run, and some lame dates with Clark in Justice League and Superman/Wonder Woman. To see Diana having a good time with her new friends is, to borrow Diana’s phrase, pretty refreshing.
It’s also hilarious. Diana is a killer commander at laser tag, absolutely loves ice cream, wins her friends all of the prizes at the strength test, but is not particularly adept at roller skating:
It’s all so heartwarming. Wonder Woman needs more of this. I know it’s easier for teen Diana to have fun times with her pals than it is for a grown up Wonder Woman with all her responsibilities, but she’s just so serious all the time. The adult Wonder Woman needs some of this spirit infused in her series. I’m not saying her book needs to be like the new Batgirl or some such, but some joy and camaraderie and fun would go a long way.
The rest of this issue is great, too. There’s an interesting discussion about how man’s world can be a terrible place but it’s also got its own wonders, and how friendship can overcome the bad aspects of the world. Plus the dancing boy calls one of Diana’s friends “chubs” and she straight up punches him in the face and knocks him out, which is pretty fun. The book ends by planting the seeds of who Diana will become as she advocates for the Amazons to come to man’s world and help make it better rather than staying cloistered away from its ills. And then everyone gets ice cream sundaes!
There have been a lot of excellent stories in Sensation Comics thus far, but I think this is my favourite one of them all. Tynion and Stevenson infuse the tale with so much charm and fun, presenting a young Diana who is very much a teenager but also very much the girl who will grow up to become Wonder Woman. Tynion’s writing is sharp and funny, and Stevenson’s art is exuberant and joyful. It’s all just absolutely delightful. Both issues are available digitally now, or you can get the story in print form on March 18 in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #8. I’m going to get both!