The second arc of this new round of Wonder Woman ’77 wrapped up today, concluding what has been the book’s best storyline so far. It’s like the whole team got together and decided to fix some of the issues that held back previous arcs. Instead of starting a story with one issue of fantastic arc and then closing out with two issues that weren’t as good, this arc brought in Cat Staggs to draw every issue and she provided consistent, great artwork throughout. Rather than relying on a formulaic three act structure of intro, small fight, big fight, writer Marc Andreyko took a new tack, throwing in the Atomic Knights at the end of last week’s issue for a fun twist that really mixed things up. Plus they kept the one thing that’s always worked like gangbusters: Nicola Scott’s’ fantastic covers.
The end result was a very enjoyable storyline, and a solid final issue this week. With the Atomic Knights in the mix, there was a lot going on. Wonder Woman was trying to capture Celsia, Celsia was trying to kill a senator, and the Atomic Knights were supposed to kill Wonder Woman AND Celsia. But the Atomic Knights weren’t monolithic; one of them had a conscience and refused to attack Wonder Woman. So there were a variety of players with different motivations, all fighting it out. It made for a much better read than a typical, simple Wonder Woman brawling with a bad guy finale. Andreyko had a lot of balls in the air, but made it all work.
I also enjoyed how everything was resolved. Wonder Woman is a hero who knows the difference between a real criminal and a misguided person who’s been wronged and is lashing out. I always like when Wonder Woman takes the time to understand the latter instead of just punching them out and carting them off to prison. Celsia did end up in prison, put on a much better path now that Wonder Woman ensured she would get justice for everyone harmed in the nuclear meltdown. It’s not hard to imagine a future where Wonder Woman stayed in touch with Celsia, and perhaps even sponsored her parole down the road and helped Celsia use her powers for good.
Another fun bit was Steve Trevor showing up only after Wonder Woman had sorted out everything. Friggin’ Steve Trevor. That guy is comically useless.
Cat Staggs finished the arc with yet another lovely issue. She had a lot to balance with so many players involved in the final battle, but she laid out everything with clarity and style. It was fun to see more of the Atomic Knights, too. I really like their design. Plus there was some laser deflecting from Wonder Woman with her bracelets! You know it’s a fun time when Wonder Woman is using her bracelets to deflect shots. Staggs has done fantastic work over this arc, and it was great to have an artist of her caliber onboard for the full story.
The previous Wonder Woman ’77 arcs weren’t bad by any means, but they were a little generic. “Celsia 451” broke out of the formula, and had consistently strong art to boot, leading to the book’s best storyline yet. Both of the last two arcs are collected in print in Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2, which came out yesterday. The special also includes a Halloween one-shot drawn by Jason Badower, which will be released digitally next week. Sensation Comics returns after that, unfortunately with its final storyline. It should be great though, with Trina Robbins writing! We’re set for an excellent few weeks on Wonder Woman digital fun, but that might be it for a while.