I love dragons and I love Wonder Woman so I was particularly looking forward to this issue of Sensation Comics, but the book didn’t do a lot for me this week. While nothing was particularly bad, nothing was particularly exciting or well executed either. It was a ho-hum issue all around that failed to deliver on an interesting premise.
The story begins with a dragon attacking New York City, killing a bunch of people, and then hiding in a subway tunnel. Wonder Woman is on the scene, and learns that the dragon is in fact after her. Centuries earlier, the Amazons wiped out the people and dragons of the island of Sostratos, and the dragon was the sole survivor. Spurred by a vision of the dragon god, the dragon set to get his revenge. It turns out that the people of Sostratos were murderous pirates who refused all of the Amazons attempts at peaceful negotiation, and the dragon god was just Ares in disguise trying to stick it to Wonder Woman, but the dragon didn’t believe Wonder Woman when she tried to explain what happened. So battle ensued, and Wonder Woman slayed the dragon.
Aaron Lopresti is well known to Wonder Woman fans from his time drawing the series during Gail Simone’s run, and he wrote and drew this issue. The story is fairly bland and kind of a downer, with the dragon failing to listen to reason and ultimately getting killed. Lopresti’s going for an angle where the dragon tries to paint Wonder Woman as just as much of a monster as he is, what with her warrior background and the Amazons’ body count over the centuries, but it really doesn’t work. Maybe if the dragon was more sympathetic and less obviously dumb and deceived this approach may have come off better, but as is he just comes off as a big dopey dragon who won’t listen to reason and gets himself killed.
I don’t love Wonder Woman killing the dragon either. If anyone should know how to dispatch a mythological creature in a safe, non-lethal manner, it’s Wonder Woman. Plus the dragon is sentient; it’s not some raging beast, lashing out based on animal extinct. Killing it should have been a last resort, not a speedy end to the situation. I feel like Wonder Woman would have been able to figure out a better way to resolve the situation.
The art is okay, but subpar for Lopresti. His work on Wonder Woman in the past was a lot more crisp and detailed. This feels a little rushed, and lacks his usual sharpness. With his Wonder Woman in particular, she looked fine but somewhat generic. During Lopresti’s Wonder Woman run, his Diana always had spark and detail, and that’s missing here. The dragon was okay, but pretty standard, run of the mill stuff. Lopresti really didn’t bring much new to the table with it.
The dragon wasn’t helped by the colouring, done by Hi-Fi Colours. It was all red and blue and yellow, with little in the way of blending or texture. It looked not terrible down in the shadows of the subway, but flying out in the light of day it came off rather garish.
Also, the dragon god was literally a dragon in a robe. Like a basic human form in a robe, with a dragon head and hands and a tail coming out the back. It was a particularly uninspired touch, and just sort of ridiculous. I feel like Lopresti is capable of much more interesting and innovative work.
Ultimately, this one wasn’t great, and Sensation Comics has hit a bit of a rut these past few weeks. Hopefully things turn around next week. It’s the beginning of a two-parter that seems to involve a band or something. Could be fun!