Here’s the good news: “Rebirth” is coming. If the rumours prove true, DC is going to relaunch a bunch of their books in June or July, and apparently the top contender for taking over Wonder Woman is Marguerite Bennett. I am all for it. Bennett is a fantastic writer who’s been doing great work on a variety of different series lately, including writing Wonder Woman in DC Comics Bombshells, and I think she’d be a great fit. No artists have been announced yet, and nothing’s been officially confirmed in any way other than that “Rebirth” is some sort of thing that is going to happen this summer, but it seems like Wonder Woman will be heading in a new direction with new creators at the helm.
Until then, Meredith and David Finch are still on the book, running out the clock with a new storyline about Zeke, i.e. Zeus in the form of a child, suffering from a mysterious ailment caused by the chaos surrounding the Olympian gods. If this first issue is any indication, it’s not going to be a great arc. It may, however, be a fitting end to the Finch’s tenure, a nonsensical tale with offputting art and the lamest of twists and turns. We’ll discuss the issue momentarily, but first:
I am about to tell you everything that happened in this issue!
Look away if you haven’t read it yet!
Or if you hate reading about poorly crafted stories!
So here’s the scoop on what’s happening. Zeke is sick, and Hera sends Wonder Woman to find Gaia to try to get her to cure him. But Gaia won’t respond, and instead Hecate shows up; she’s a goddess of magic and witchcraft who’s all creepy looking with weird spikes coming out of her head. Despite Hecate being the sketchiest looking character ever, Wonder Woman decides to secretly work with her to help Zeke, and agrees to steal some orbs from the bottom of Hera’s pool, after which she gets knocked out by a cyclops and the issue ends with the one-eyed monster carrying her away.
There’s some other stuff in the mix, too: Hera seems to be doping Zola magically and may be up to something mysterious and/or nefarious, Ares and Eirene are maybe back together, and Apollo is on the prowl for a new lady. None of it is particularly interesting.
Wonder Woman working with Hecate AND not telling her friends about it is just straight up dumb. Stories like these drive me crazy; I hate it when characters who are supposed to be smart, sensible people do stupid things to add drama to the narrative. Such stories always reflect a lack of understanding of the character. Wonder Woman would never team up with such an obvious villain, much less keep her closest friends in the dark about it, no matter the circumstances. I get that she’s trying to save Zeke, but she’s not an idiot. It’s obvious that this team up isn’t going to end well for her, yet she launches herself into it and steals from Hera, who’s become one of her closer allies over the years. And now she’s captured by a cyclops and no one even knows because she was skulking through Olympus on the sly. This is why you always go with the buddy system, gang.
Also, Wonder Woman could take a cyclops, even if it snuck up on her. Cyclops are hardly good sneakers, anyway. They’re huge! She’d hear him coming and take him out accordingly. I mean, she’s Wonder Woman.
So the plot is silly and makes Wonder Woman look bad, which is uncool. Even worse, the design of Hecate is just pure David Finch. He’s actually done a solid job through this run of reining in his art some; his Diana started out looking like a weirdly sexualized teen, and he evolved her look so that she’s now more mature. Kudos to him for that. But before Wonder Woman, Finch was known for some bad, super sexualized artwork. His Catwoman in Justice League of America had her zipper undone to her navel. He created a character in Batman: The Dark Knight who was basically a playboy bunny. Historically, his work with female characters hasn’t been great.
Such is the case with Hecate. First off, the gal is barely covered, which is irksome. Any new female character design that is basically just some version of a bikini is hot garbage. It’s 2016; give her an actual costume. Also, this hot girl with evil tweaks aesthetic is played out. Finch draws Hecate’s face in his usual style; his range with female faces isn’t great, so her features are generically attractive. On top of this, he adds weird horns and tattoos and snake eyes to make her more gruesome, but it just doesn’t come together. It’s not a complete design. It’s a standard Finch face with evil accoutrement. Finch is actually really good at drawing monsters and creepy creatures, and I’d be mildly curious to see what direction he’d take a more monstrous version of Hecate that embrace the evil bits a little more. But a pretty gal with spiky horns is just boring.
Frankly, “boring” is a good word for this issue as a whole. The Finches are setting up lots of things, putting a bunch of balls in the air as the arc begins, but it’s all so dull. Nor does any of it feel true to the character, nor is any of it particularly well drawn. It’s yet another issue of this run where I find myself asking who thought that this story was a good idea, on any level but particularly with editorial. It’s just such a poor product all around.