Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #51 Review: THE FINAL ISSUE! “Island of Lost Souls, Part 3” by Trina Robbins and Chris Gugliotti


It’s a very sad day for Wonder Woman fans because we’ve reached the end of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, one of the best outlets that the character has had in some time. Print readers still have a couple of issues to go before the book is wrapped up for good, but today was the final digital installment of the series. It’s unfortunate that the series is over, because it was a heck of a lot of fun. There were so many great, different creators involved, telling a wide range of stories each with a different take on Diana. And the best part was that even if you didn’t like a particular story, soon you’d have another one with a completely new creative team and a new approach to Wonder Woman. The surprise of each new arc was one of my favourite things about this series. Plus, most of them were pretty enjoyable. I liked some better than others, but a lot of them were really great and there weren’t a lot of duds in the mix. An anthology series is a crapshoot, but Sensation Comics had a solid record.

The end of the book is particularly disheartening because it was an outlet for Wonder Woman fans to get away from the current incarnation of the character. Since the New 52 relaunch four years ago, Wonder Woman has been a fairly dark series, and her treatment elsewhere in the mainline books has left a lot to be desired, particularly her awkward romance with Superman. DC seems to have gotten away from the classic, iconic version of Wonder Woman, and Sensation Comics was an opportunity to have that character back via fun, out of continuity adventures.

And now it’s over. It had a solid run, and lasted about as long as DC’s character focused, digital first anthologies tend to go. The silver lining of the end of Sensation Comics is that it’s conclusion will make way for a new digital first series for Wonder Woman, Renae De Liz’s The Legend of Wonder Woman. The new book will run for 27 digital issues, 9 print, and tell stories about Diana’s childhood as she learns what it means to be an Amazon. It sounds fantastic, and I’m glad that we’ll continue to have a weekly dose of digital Wonder Woman fun.

Sensation Comics also ended strong, with a quirky arc by Trina Robbins and Chris Gugliotti. It was a fitting conclusion to the book with Wonder Woman doing what she does best, fostering compassion in others and helping them find their better self. After locating the source of the Urzkatarga cult, the Cheetah became overwhelmed with malicious power and attacked Wonder Woman, but Wonder Woman encouraged Barbara to fight the evil influence and, with the help of their new kitten friend, Molly, set her free from its control. I loved that this story arc centered on Wonder Woman helping her biggest enemy, because that’s such a Wonder Woman thing to do. The final page revealed that their rivalry may not be over forever, but the story nonetheless showed the core of who Wonder Woman is.

Chris Gugliotti’s art has been a lot of fun. It’s a little bit unconventional, and I’ve been seeing mixed reactions online, but I’ve enjoyed it. I think this is what Sensation Comics is all about, trying something new and out of the mainstream; this book looks nothing like Wonder Woman’s New 52 adventures, and I think that’s very cool. Gugliotti’s got his own style that fit the story well and that, along with his superb colouring, made this story one of Sensation Comics‘ more interesting outings, visually. I was into it.

Anyway, I’ve had a blast reading and reviewing Sensation Comics each week, and I’m glad it went out with a legend at the helm in Trina Robbins, and with the promise of more Wonder Woman digital stories on the horizon. That takes away a lot of the sting of it ending. For you print fans, this story will be collected in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #17, the book’s final print issue, on December 2, so keep your eyes peeled for that and its gorgeous cover. My thanks and compliments to all of the wonderful creators who have worked on the book, and editors Kristy Quinn and Jessica Chen for putting together such a great series; it’s been a blast. Now I’m counting down the days until The Legend of Wonder Woman begins!

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

One thought on “Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #51 Review: THE FINAL ISSUE! “Island of Lost Souls, Part 3” by Trina Robbins and Chris Gugliotti

  1. I just picked up the print edition a few days ago. It was a decent end to Sensation Comics. As you say, it was a very uneven series. Truthfully, I was beginning to lose a little interest due to the variable quality. I decided to stay with the series because I found out it was ending with #17, so it made sense to support it until it wrapped up.

    While this was not my favorite story from Sensation Comics, it was still good. Trina Robbins is a long-time Wonder Woman fan, and whenever she writes Diana she does a great job at getting her voice. I felt so bad for all the poor animals in this story, especially Molly, who looks so much like my own cat Nettie…

    So I was very happy that Molly survived. Yeah, I know, I’m probably too darn sentimental!

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