I skipped my usual digital Sensation Comics review last week to instead just write about the story when it was wrapped up this week and do both issues at once. When writing my review for the first issue, my feelings were basically “Let’s see where this goes” so I decided to wait two weeks and see all of the places it went. And it turned out okay. I’d place “Vendetta” in the middle of the pack on the list of Sensation Comics stories we’ve had thus far, but it had some good moments.
One moment I particularly liked was the start of the second issue, when Ares stopped a UN convoy and challenged one of the peacekeepers to a duel. The defiant peacekeeper had no choice but to accept, but she bravely took on the god of war and managed to get in a couple of good shots, even though the fight ultimately ended in her death. It’s one thing for a superhero to take on a god; a superhero has a chance, at least. But the everyday heroics of an ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary situation, however futile they may be, is often a much more inspiring tale. I sometimes harp on Sensation Comics stories when they take the focus away from Wonder Woman and give the best moments to someone else, but I really loved this peacekeeper doing her damnedest to stop Ares. It was the highlight of the story for me.
Wonder Woman isn’t without her own action scenes, though. She chats it up a lot in the second issue, first working to negotiate a peace deal between an African country’s warring factions, and later talks with Ares, but she does get to bust through a bunch of dragonmen on her way to the god of war, at least. Then the final issue is the big battle, with Wonder Woman and Ares facing off in a fight that takes up most of part three. It’s a well plotted fight scene, with good back and forth momentum, culminating in a win for Wonder Woman, of course. It’s her comic book, after all. What I particularly enjoyed about the fight, aside from its inherent fun, was that seeing the destructive personification of war engaged in such fierce, damaging battle convinced the two leaders of the warring factions that peace would be a better option.
The art throughout the story is fine, but I don’t like Igle’s twist on Wonder Woman’s outfit anymore than I did when I read the first issue two weeks ago. The gold piece on her breastplate is distractingly large, the gloves just look weird, and the shield is a little too colourful for my taste; Captain America has the definitive comic book round shield, so doing anything close to it isn’t my jam. I think Wonder Woman should have something more unique. However, I do like the straps a lot. Wonder Woman’s outfit makes a lot more sense with straps. And Igle seems to have cut the volume of Wonder Woman’s skirt a lot in these later issues. It had a lot of poof at times in the first one.
Aside from the design, I think Igle did a good job choreographing the fight scenes and making the action fun. I also liked the way Ares dissolves into a flock of ravens from time to time; it’s a very cool visual. It would also look super awesome in a Wonder Woman movie, if Ares is ever a part of one, so keep that in mind, Patty Jenkins.
All together, “Vendetta” was a decent read. Looking back on it all, I feel like it might have worked better as a two parter than a three parter, particularly given the digital format. With such short installments, you really want to pack things in and make each installment read well on its own, not just as part of a whole. I think that things got stretched out a bit, especially with a lot of the setup in the first issue, and the story would be a lot tighter and more enjoyable if they’d done it in two instead. Printed all together, though, so that you can’t tell that there are different parts, the pacing may be less of a problem. Speaking of which, the print issue of this storyline will be out June 17, and will be the sole story in that month’s print Sensation Comics.