I was out of town last week and thus didn’t get to do my usual Wonder Woman digital comic review. I was disappointed to not dig into the first issue of the new Wonder Woman ’77 arc, but now that I’ve read the first two together, I’m glad that I waited. The reveal at the end of the second issue is not only a lot of fun, it totally explains away what would have been my only real criticism of these two issues.
Wonder Woman ’77 #4 begins with a dazed Diana Prince, unsure of what’s happened to her. She’s snapped out of her stupor by a cry for help, but her attempted spin change into Wonder Woman doesn’t do anything and instead another Wonder Woman shows up to save the day. Amusingly but somewhat confusingly, it’s Cathy Lee Crosby’s Wonder Woman from the little-watched 1974 television movie, a bit of a deep cut.
At first I thought this was an odd choice. Not only is the Crosby Wonder Woman not very well known, this series is only four issues in. We haven’t gotten that much Lynda Carter Wonder Woman yet, and we’re already swapping her out for a lesser known incarnation? I was further perplexed when an appearance from Hippolyta and Drusilla turned out to be Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, Wonder Woman’s surrogate family from the George Perez years of Wonder Woman in the late 1980s. It all seemed like a mishmash of different eras of Wonder Woman, with not a lot of the Wonder Woman who was supposed to be headlining the book.
Eventually, the Lynda Carter version of Diana began to fight back against an angry Crosby Wonder Woman, and she soon emerged in the classic star spangled outfit and tiara we all love. That precipitated the big twist ending of Wonder Woman ’77 #5, a reveal so fun that I’m not going to spoil it here. Just go read the book. It’s classic Wonder Woman villain goodness and it will make you happy. Everything I was a little concerned about was immediately set aside, and the final issue in this arc is poised for a great conclusion.
While the different characters and twists were all a lot of fun, in general I am really impressed with how writer Marc Andreyko has adapted to digital comics. His first Wonder Woman #77 arc was enjoyable but a quick read that didn’t play to the strengths of the medium. This arc has had much more on the go thus far, and takes advantage of the digital format well. The result is a far more satisfying read. I had high hopes for Andreyko’s second arc, and I’m glad to see that he upped his game so well.
The art is also fantastic. Wonder Woman ’77 #4 in particular, drawn by Jason Badower, is gorgeous. He captures Lynda Carter beautifully and with great detail, and some of the panels are absolutely stunning. Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colours perfectly compliment the line work, and really bring Carter to life. I mean, look at this spectacular Lynda Carter:
The first issue is worth reading solely for the art; that the story is fun too is an added bonus. Matt Haley takes over with the second issue of the arc, and while his art is less detailed than Badower’s, it’s still solid work. Haley illustrated the latter half of the first storyline as well; he’s the go-to guy when the more detailed, initial artist seems to fall off schedule, and it looks like he’ll be back next week to finish the arc. Haley is a good artist, but it would’ve been nice to have complete Drew Johnson art in the first run and complete Jason Badower work in the second; these aren’t lengthy gigs, and it’s disappointing that for whatever reason they’ve had to be replaced.
Overall, these first two issues are a lot of fun, with a great twist that should set up an epic finale. Andreyko’s clearly steeped in the history of Wonder Woman, and while it seemed a bit haphazard at first it’s all came together at the end of today’s issue and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. The final issue of this arc of Wonder Woman ’77 is scheduled for next Thursday, with Sensation Comics returning the following week, and the print version of this story will be collected in print in Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 on April 29. Be sure to pick it up!