Wonder Woman #47 Review OR The Cheetah Never Prospers


We’ll close out the year properly tomorrow on a high note, with a review of the latest two issues of The Legend of Wonder Woman, far and away the best Wonder Woman series being produced currently. But for now, we’ll spend the penultimate day of the year in the doldrums of Wonder Woman’s mainline continuity, pondering what deities we must have offended to continue to be subjected to this series. Meredith and David Finch have been on Wonder Woman for over a year, with several months to come yet, at least, and the book continues to be mediocre comic booking. I’m starting to run out of ways to say “This book is bad.” I’ll try to come up with some more for today’s issue, but first:


I am about to reveal every plot point in this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Not that this story has any real consequence, but still!

No one likes to be spoiled!

Many recent issues of Wonder Woman haven’t had much going on in the way of a plot. There’s a lot of conversation and a fight or two, but the story doesn’t move forward in any real way; by the issue’s end, we’re no further ahead with things than we were a month ago. This is a book that likes to tread water and then have a million things happen at once. Last month’s comic was such an issue, and that flurry of revelations has been followed by a meandering tale that seems to add nothing to the overarching plot in any sort of story or character way. Ares and Apollo returned and Donna Troy is now the Fates personified, so Wonder Woman has a lot of balls in the air right now, but none of that played much of a role in today’s issue.

Instead, we get an entirely inconsequential Cheetah story. The Cheetah came to Paradise Island to steal the Eye of Antiope, a jewel that’s key to the Amazons’ immortality. Wonder Woman goes to stop her, they fight for a couple of pages, the ghost of Hippolyta tells Wonder Woman she can’t enter the temple of Hera because she’s the god of war and Hera would be offended, Cheetah gets the jewel from the temple but then has to throw it back because the deity who is the source of her powers is offended and was starting to take them back. None of this is terrible, really. It’s not particularly compelling or well-written, either. It’s just bland, and sort of pointless, a limp heist story for no good reason.

Furthermore, it doesn’t even take up the full page count. The story gets fleshed out with bits meant to make Wonder Woman feel bad, because constantly highlighting Wonder Woman’s failings has been a hallmark of this series since the dawn of the New 52. First, an Amazon named Dessa tells Wonder Woman that her mood affects the whole island because the Amazons are all linked, and so Wonder Woman worries that her internal discord over being the god of war may have infected her sisters and led them to follow Donna Troy and kill all of the male Amazons. Then, while running through the jungle to find Cheetah, she comes across the last surviving Manazon, battered and furious, who blames her for the attack and yells at her for not saving the men. It’s a real morale boost all around for our heroine.

It’s also done in Meredith Finch’s tell and not show fashion, with lengthy conversations explaining the ins and outs of every plot point in detail. Were you wondering about the Eye of Antiope and the specific benefits and limits of its powers? Fear not, because the book spends two full pages running through ALL of that. Were you wondering how Cheetah knew where to find the Eye of Antiope? Look no further than this poetic dialogue: “According to this old map I stole from A.R.G.U.S. before I left, I’m almost at the temple, and then the Eye of Antiope, and the key to Amazon immortality will be mine!” What a handy reminder of the information we learned in the earlier Eye of Antiope report, too.

Finch then hammered home the moral of the story as blatantly as possible, as if this were a comic book for a five year old. It was hardly anything deep; the Cheetah showed that getting what you want can come with a price, in a very obvious fashion. Nonetheless, the book ended with Wonder Woman underscoring the moral just in case as she declared, “Sometimes getting what we want comes at the price of sacrificing who and what we really are. Today, that’s a price even Cheetah wasn’t willing to pay.” This series would be at least 20% better if Finch realized that the readers can fill in some of the blanks and don’t need every little thing spoon fed to us.

The other half of the Finches, artist David Finch, was off this month, which may explain the issue’s inconsequential feel. It may have been written to serve as a fill-in issue, and the main story will continue next month when David returns. Replacement penciller Miguel Mendonça was fine, if fairly straight forward. Everything looked okay and the story read well enough, but the art felt a bit static and lacked much in the way of unique style or pizzazz. It was all very middle of the road for me. The old costume is back, though! I was glad for that. The new costume they’re trying to make work is just god awful. Hopefully the change here marks the end of the outfit, and wasn’t just a miscommunication.

Overall, this issue wasn’t terribly good, which isn’t much of a surprise at this point. I suppose we can be glad that it wasn’t actively bad, because we’ve certainly been there before. There’s nothing here to get upset or offended about, so much as it’s just a very bland, kind of pointless issue. Actually, all of the blaming and shaming Wonder Woman stuff was sort of terrible; that’s worth getting bothered. This book needs to cool it with constantly trying to tear her down. But the main plot was all just boringly below average, which is disappointing because the Cheetah can be cool when done well. But not today.


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4 Responses to “Wonder Woman #47 Review OR The Cheetah Never Prospers”

  1. The_Comixeur Says:

    This is the post-Perez model, Tim. Heavy is the head that wears the razor-edged tiara – the ‘Passion Of The Wonder Woman’, I’ve mused, recently. Wonder Woman is no longer Wonder Woman or Diana; she’s a tormented Amazon princess, who kinda’ happens to be ‘Wonder Woman’, ..sometimes…a-aannnd…

    Who can’t seem to get off her flaming island!

    In this model, being Diana – just Diana – and being a superheroine in Man’s World are treated as incidentals, peripheral to anything and everything going on, on Paradise Island, ..and therein, doth lie the problem. The Amazon residents are flawlessly beautiful, physically and intellectually superior to mortals, immortally unchanging and boring as hell, living on a time-lost, mythical, magical island – how do you get a story out of that, and why would you want to? Why in Hades does writer, after writer, after writer keep dragging us back to this blamed island and trying to get a story out of it? Why?!

    Paradise Island was never supposed to be the setting for this comic or where 99% of the stories unfold. Paradise Island is a pulp-inspired lost civilization and secret hideaway for a pulp-inspired heroine, Wonder Woman, featured almost exclusively in fleeting moments, where its unique treasures – Hippolyta’s wisdom, Paula’s science, etc – could be relevant to stories that almost always took place in Man’s World. In Mrs. Finch’s hands, Paradise island, commandeered to serve as the comic’s primary setting, has become completely irrelevant – its unique features having no relevance to anything going on in the larger, outside world that Wonder Woman was sent to protect. Mrs. Finch has replaced the supporting cast, original and 52, with Amazons, like Dessa and whoever, who are all painfully alike, living dreary, inconsequential lives in a pastorally beautiful place, ..and all of it is unforgivably boring.

    Meredith Finch has made me hate Paradise Island, ..again.

    I have a read a few issues of this run, and, thanks to your solidly insightful and unpretentious review, this surely won’t be one of them. Between the agonizing ‘passion of the Wonder Woman’ and Paradise Island’s static, inconsequential, insufferably boring presence in this title, I’ve found it unreadable and will be dropping the title, indefinitely.

    In my imagination, Wonder Woman, Zola and Lord Hermes (with limited Earthly powers) returned to ‘the Townhouse’ in London, after Issue #35 and Hera restoring Zeke-Zeus to adult Zeus. They are eventually joined on wild adventures to weird, otherworldly and exotic places, by Steve Trevor, a cargo pilot with military and spy-world connections. Occasional trips to Paradise Island for advice from a resurrected Hippolyta and to Hephaestus’s Forge, for some magical thingy, are rare enough to be thrilling and, as before the thirty years-long, post-Perez stagnation, ..much anticipated. Fleshed out over several tangles with Diana, Cassandra the Mad – ‘Carrier’ and all – replaces the Cheetah, as her organically perennial arch-nemesis. Diana is once more thrilled to be Wonder Woman, a working woman, with an interesting background (that STAYS in the background) and equally interesting friends AND enemies…

    God and mortal, alike.

    Another exceptional review, Tim. Thanks.

  2. thethemysciran Says:

    Wait, Amazons are still immortal in New 52? Then why the hell do they need children to repopulate?

  3. johnnymorales Says:

    No doubt the fact there was no explanation as to how WW remained the god of war after Aries was restored was meant to titillate the reader and make all eagerly anticipate the next finch masterpiece. 😉

  4. Darci Says:

    Carol Strickland (at her Wonder Woman Central site) has documented the drastic numbers of Amazons killed off over the years. At this point, the island is practically depopulated.
    Hope this helps!

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