I had a great time last week in Chicago, doing a variety of book events for Investigating Lois Lane, but the busyness of the trip meant that I missed out on one of my favourite weekly activities: reading and reviewing The Legend of Wonder Woman! But I’m back at it again this week, with a double review of last week AND this week’s digital issues. It’s twice the fun!
When we last left our intrepid heroine two weeks ago, she had just emerged in her iconic costume and took to the battlefield as Wonder Woman, turning the tide against the Germans and their nefarious ally, the Duke of Deception. Last week’s issue opened with a montage of her exploits since then, including a role in the liberation of Paris and offering support in several key military missions (including fighting alongside Canadian forces in Dieppe! Wonder Woman and Canadians, working together!). Wonder Woman’s arrival threw the Axis forces for a real loop, including their newly revealed ally: Priscilla Rich!
This information will probably not surprise any of my regular readers, but I LOVE Priscilla Rich. Later incarnations of the Cheetah are fine and all, but Priscilla Rich is my favourite by far. Her original Golden Age adventures revealed a psychologically fascinating character; she wasn’t evil so much as misguided, warped by jealousy into a villainous split personality. Plus she was crafty and smart. Later versions of the Cheetah tend to focus on her feral power and make her a sort of cat/human hybrid. Priscilla Rich had catlike reflexes because of her training as a dancer, but she was also clever and sneaky and very difficult to defeat. And now she’s in The Legend of Wonder Woman, working with the Axis but throwing serious shade at the German generals and even the Duke of Deception. Her snarky attitude is so delightful, and I can’t wait to see what role she plays in the rest of the series.
This week’s issue brings back the rest of the Holliday Girls, who come to Paris to perform with Etta at a gala celebration. Today’s release of the first look at the Amazons in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie illustrates yet again why this is such a special comic: It’s set in the 1940s and could have used any dumb excuse to be homogenously white, from history to the old comics, but Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon have chosen to present different ethnicities in their world. And at every level, from the Amazons on Themyscira to the American military to the Holliday Girls. The book contains people of all colours, while the upcoming film is all white Amazons thus far.
The issue ends with a dramatic confrontation between Wonder Woman and the Duke of Deception, and it does not go well for our stalwart heroine. The Duke is, unsurprisingly, deceptive. While Wonder Woman dispatches his dead souls with ease, their direct battle proves to be much more difficult. The Duke is never where he seems to be, and is constantly disappearing and popping up behind Diana to land a powerful strike, and the issue ends with the Duke clearly having the upper hand. Looking at the simple issue math, we’ve got seven digital installments yet, so I’m guessing the victor of this battle, whoever it may be, will not have won the war. Hopefully Wonder Woman can get away and recover, and perhaps mount another strike at her foes with Steve and the Holliday Girls in tow; I feel like Lita Little driving a soldier’s tank earlier in the issue (and crashing it!) might be a bit of a Chekhov’s tank, and the gals may take to the battlefield for real before the series is done.
It was another two great issues for The Legend of Wonder Woman, with De Liz and Dillon moving the story forward and approaching their conclusion while still adding fun new surprises into the mix. We’re into the last third of the series, and I’m sad it’s nearly done, but this is also shaping up to be one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time and I’m excited to see how it comes together in the end.