Before we dig into this issue, be advised that the description for this week’s Sensation Comics on Comixology isn’t what’s actually in the book. Comixology says the story is by Caitlin Kittredge and Scott Hampton and is about mythological monsters in Gotham City, which sounds like a fun read, but that’s not what you get when you buy the issue. Instead, it’s the first chapter of the three part “Vendetta” by Josh Elder, Jamal Igle, and Juan Castro. I assume that the Kittredge/Hampton story is coming at a later date, and that we’ll be getting the rest of “Vendetta” for the next two weeks.
So onto “Vendetta” itself. From what I’ve read of digital comics over the past couple years, three parters seem to be a bit of a tricky game. It’s hard to produce three issues that are each satisfying while also adding up to a whole story. At least one of the issues is inevitably a little slower and less fun than the others. I’m hoping that “Vendetta” got their slow issue out of the way first, because this week’s Sensation Comics is a lot of set up without a lot of action or excitement. The main focus is Wonder Woman telling Steve about the fighting she’s seen in the war-torn African nation of Itari. There are some flashbacks where Wonder Woman steps in, but all of the dialogue is either Steve and Wonder Woman catching up or Wonder Woman explaining the situation in Itari. Things pick up at the end of the issue when the real villain shows up and attacks a UN convoy, and I’m curious to see how much said villain takes over the next two issues. Hopefully all of the players introduced in this first part will have a significant role going forward, giving this issue a more meaningful feel in retrospect. That’d be more fun than this turning into just Wonder Woman vs. the big bad guy.
It’s hard to gauge an individual issue, especially ones so short as these digital installments, without knowing how things are going to play out. I’ve been thinking of moving from weekly reviews to reviews of full stories, so whatever the length of the full tale, whether it’s one issue or three, I review it as a whole. Today’s Sensation Comics is pushing me further in that direction because, while I didn’t love it, it may turn out to be important to how the story plays out and be much better all put together.
That being said, regardless of how I read this issue, I do know that design for Wonder Woman was distractingly weird. The eagle on her chest is oddly massive in several scenes, plus she’s wearing gloves for no discernible reason:
The gloves also disappear occasionally but then come back. She certainly looks better without them; gloves do not go well with big bracelets like that. Her skirt design is hit and miss as well. It looks okay in the panel above, but there’s a double layer affect through the rest of the issue that can make it look comicly poofy. I’m all for people tweaking Wonder Woman’s outfits and trying new things, but those choices fell a little flat for me in this issue. I will say that I like the shield on her back look, with the straps and such. I think that can be cool.
So we’ve got a lot of setup of this African civil war, and a big bad that pops by at the end of the issue. I’m curious to see what that all leads to next week. If not much happens, I might just wait and review the last two parts of the story together in two weeks’ time, but hopefully next week’s installment will be exciting and interesting and I’ll be keen to blather on about it.