Wonder Woman ’77 ended its current run this week with a Halloween oneshot. After two three-issue arcs, the oneshot, was a quick, fun conclusion to the run with an unusual “villain” in the mix. After bringing classic Wonder Woman comic villains to the world of the Lynda Carter with the first three arcs, Wonder Woman ’77 debuted an original villain in its latest arc. This week, the book features Solomon Grundy, the monstrous, often misunderstood beast who really doesn’t belong to any particular hero, though he’s often been part of Batman’s world as of late.
The book began in an amusing fashion, with Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor attending a fair on Halloween. I never get tired of Wonder Woman showing up chauvinistic dudes, so I very much enjoyed her blasting the milk bottles with a baseball at a prize booth, much to the surprise of the man running the booth. Then the issue looked like it was going to turn into a battle between Wonder Woman and Solomon Grundy when the massive creature appeared at the fair, but Andreyko added a twist. Grundy wasn’t there to hurt anyone, he was there to protect a member of his family, a woman who was being abused by her boyfriend. Wonder Woman quickly figured out his intent, and once the boyfriend was arrested, Grundy calmly left the fair.
I appreciated the book’s positive message, and the way that Wonder Woman encouraged the abused women to testify against her abuser and seek help from a women’s shelter. Those are good things to promote. However, it’s a tricky topic to get into without being too on the nose and taking on an after school special vibe. I think Andreyko found an okay balance here; while those particular scenes treaded into that tone a bit, the rest of the book was fun enough to even things out. In particular, Wonder Woman and Steve provided a lot of humour that countered the heavy message. I particularly enjoyed when Wonder Woman told Steve to get people to safety once Grundy appeared, and Steve replied, “No argument here!” Oh, Steve Trevor. So useless, but at least he knows it here.
The art was decent, and it’s very fun to have Jason Badower drawing Wonder Woman again. His Sensation Comics issue was a big hit a while back, and he’s done great work on Wonder Woman ’77 before. There were some fantastic moments in this book, but the inconsistent colouring made for an uneven read.
Badower’s art looks best when he’s got a colorist who can add lots of texture and shading to his linework; his linework is fantastic, and he’s especially great at capturing a likeness, but he doesn’t do a ton of shading or shaping with his inks. Instead, he provides a great framework for the colorist to complete the job. Some of the panels in the book are great, with Brett Smith going all out with details and shading to make the artwork look gorgeous and realistic. But he doesn’t do this for everyone. He focuses mainly on Wonder Woman, probably a wise call given that she’s the book’s protagonist, but when Smith uses traditional colouring for the rest of the book, everything looks a little bit flat. Badower coloured his own work in his recent Sensation Comics story and it turned out lovely, but with someone else on colors the artwork was uneven.
Ultimately, Wonder Woman ’77 #13 was a fun, quick story with some enjoyable moments, especially with Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. I enjoyed it. If you read the book in print and got Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2 when it came out last week, then you’ve already seen this story as it was part of that collection. If you missed the special but want to read it in print, head to your local comic shop! Next week, Sensation Comics returns for the beginning of the end of the series.