The Legend of Wonder Woman #22 Review: The Holliday Girls’ Showstopper


With this week’s digital first installment of The Legend of Wonder Woman, we’re into the start of what will be the penultimate issue of the print series. Usually with a mini-series, that would mean a ramp up to the grand finale, with all of the pieces falling into place for the battle royale that’s about to unfold. But with The Legend of Wonder Woman, the penultimate issue means a big performance number from the Holliday Girls, along with their pal Diana.  And if you’re not delighted by that, then I just feel sorry for you. This book has been a joy from start to finish, and I love that it’s maintaining its sense of fun and frivolity right to the end.

Not that the series can’t be serious, of course. The last issue got pretty heavy, what with Zeus trying to convince Wonder Woman to be his champion and allow the world to be destroyed and remade into something better. Diana refused to be part of such wanton death and destruction, and had her superpowers taken from her as a result; it was an ironic twist to have her lose her gifts at the moment she reached peak Wonder Woman with her valiant stance against violent patriarchal plans.

But rather than wallow in sadness or loss, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s Diana embraces the change. Unlike other recent major superhero properties, this is not a story of glum, downcast heroes. Diana knows that she can still be useful to the world, even without her powers, and she also has developed a rich life outside of her superhero feats that is filled with friendship, romance, and meaning. So what does she do? She goes to a fancy party in Paris with Etta Candy and Steve Trevor, and tries to finagle some popcorn out of the snooty French chef.

The whole issue is similarly light. Etta’s feud with that hussy Pamela Smuthers continues to be an ongoing plotline; she really is the worst, trying to undercut Etta at every turn. Hopefully by the end of the run, Pamela will have learned that female rivalry is a fiendish tool of the patriarchy and come to appreciate the true value of sisterhood. But so far, not so much. She remains a total jerk.

We also get another cameo that hints at a wider superhero world beyond Wonder Woman, this time with Batman’s future butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Here he’s a nine year old scamp, looking for a shot in show business, and ends up playing a key role in the Holliday Girls’ performance. I really enjoy these little bits of world building, especially because it’s fun to figure out a potential timeline. With newly enlisted soldier Jonathan Kent a few issues back and now a child Alfred, it looks like we’re a good 30 or 40 years away from Batman or Superman, so it looks like De Liz will be going for a classic, All-American Comics Justice Society vibe for the book’s potential sequel (also, please go buy LOTS of this comic so we can get this sequel!).

Finally, we get a fantastic song from the Holliday Girls that shows the real heart of the story. It’s all about friendship, and how a woman doesn’t need a man when she’s got a best friend at her side. A man who wants a gal to be his “side objective” is just a “villain in disguise,” while “a true sister can help me along the path from danger to where I belong.” It’s a fun number, aided by Diana’s inadvertent entrance into the finale, and captures the core of the Holliday Girls and what they value beautifully.

The issue closes with trouble on the war front, as the Titan rears its ugly head and Steve runs off to fight it. I’m guessing that Diana will be close behind, regardless of her powers or lack thereof, and I’m excited to see how the finale will play out. Her lack of superpowers throws a real wrench into the works, one that adds some fun mystery to the upcoming conclusion. While I’m looking forward to watching the larger story with the gods play out, I also love that we got to pause for this fun moment with Diana and the Holliday girls. I’d read a book that was just those gals teaming up to have goofy, low stakes adventures, really. They’re all so much fun together.

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.

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