Posts Tagged ‘Donna Troy’

Wonder Woman #46 Review OR Dysfunctional Family Squabbling, Just In Time For Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015

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So here’s the thing: Wonder Woman is not a good comic book right now. We all know this. Neither of the Finches are well suited for the book, and it’s just been a chore to read since they took it over. Trust me, I’ve read every issue. They’ve ranged from full on terrible to blandly bad. That being said, this issue definitely felt like Meredith Finch was really trying. The end result still wasn’t great, but you could see the effort. There were, at the very least, some potentially interesting ideas in the mix here, and that’s not something you can say about most of this run. We’ll get into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am about to discuss ALL of the things that happened in this comic!!

If you have not read it, look away!!

Following up on the big reveal at the end of last month’s issue, the big bad behind Aegeus’ attempts to kill Wonder Woman and take her mantle of the god of war is Eirene, the god of peace. The initial explanation of the conflict is somewhat interesting: Wonder Woman hasn’t been a very war-like god of war, and it’s upsetting some kind of divine, cosmic balance, with Eirene bearing the brunt of it. Wonder Woman shirking her mantle is causing harm to Eirene.

What followed was a lengthy conversation on the nature of war. I feel like Meredith Finch was trying to be thought provoking here, but garnered very mixed results. I was actually intrigued by the first angle, a visit to a sweat shop with child labourers where Eirene explained that without the power of the god of war active in the world, the children had lost the will to revolt and fight back against their oppressors. That’s kind of a cool idea, and one I would’ve liked to see explored further. It was less about war itself than about a fighting spirit, something Wonder Woman could definitely get behind. She may not be a fan of outright warfare, but people standing up for themselves is her kind of thing.

But instead of delving into that, Eirene ramped up into different scenarios and took on more of a distinctly villainous vibe. Whenever someone starts talking about “the beauty and tragic glory of war” and “war in all its bloody, beautiful glory,” you know they’re on the bad guy side of things. Eirene tried to explain that peace needs war, that a lack of war doesn’t automatically create peace but that war is a necessary exercise for then creating peace, a balance that perpetually tips back and forth. Wonder Woman rightly decided that Eirene had gone off her rocker, and they punched it out for a while. Poor Eirene was pretty hung up on Ares, and seems to have gone a little bit crazy after his death.

This whole discussion took up more than half the book, which really isn’t particularly interesting comic booking. In the end, it all just felt like a pretense for Zeke to use his powers to bring back Ares and Apollo, as well as Donna Troy, who got shot and turned into stone last month. Apparently Donna is the new Fate now, because the Fates are dead, and the gods are immortal again or something. That part all kind of unspooled quickly without much in the way of detailed and/or sensible explanation.

The annoying part is, they were on to something kind of cool here. Wonder Woman fighting with a crazed, war-hungry deity is pretty old hat, but exploring a more nuanced take on war that would force Wonder Woman to confront her lack of engagement with her divine status could have been interesting. I mean, it’s a comic book; we want the punching and the action and whatnot. It’s a staple of the genre. Thoughtful re-examinations of one’s choices don’t bring that so much. It’s a lot easier when Wonder Woman’s opponent is clearly crazed and villainous and they can just duke it out. Nonetheless, I feel like the Finches let an intriguing idea slip away here.

I will say this: the book did a lot of heavy lifting in twenty pages. Donna’s alive again, we know all about Eirene and how she’s wacky for war, Ares and Apollo are back. The latter is particularly significant, because the obvious question now is with Ares back, what does that mean for Wonder Woman’s god of war status? And with Apollo back, what does that mean for Hera’s rule on Olympus, since last time we saw him he’d seized the throne? There’s a bunch of new stuff in play. I’m not optimistic that it will pan out to be anything interesting or fun to read, but things happened and big changes are afoot. There have been several issues of this run where it seemed like nothing really happened at all, so all of this activity is something at least.

Ultimately, this was yet another not great issue of Wonder Woman. Things happened, but they weren’t all that exciting, and some potentially interesting stuff quickly fell by the wayside. I got more out of it than most of their previous issues, though; I was slightly less bored than usual. Nonetheless, the book is still a long, long, long way from good, and Wonder Woman’s New 52 incarnation is absolutely crying out for a revamp.

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Wonder Woman #45 Review OR Oh Fun, More Death and Anger

October 21, 2015

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Since the New 52 Relaunch four years ago, Wonder Woman hasn’t been the most upbeat series. Everyone’s mad all of the time, including Diana herself for big swathes of the series’ run thus far, folks are always getting killed, and the world around Wonder Woman is one of constant drama and betrayal. Frankly, it’s exhausting. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang found a way to make the darkness work a lot of the time, turning the Olympian gods into a twisted horror story that was often unique and engaging. Meredith and David Finch have continued the darkness, but with none of the panache. Their stories are both bleak AND badly told, to the point that reading the book each month is a chore. At a time when there are so many fantastic comic books on the stands, I’m becoming increasingly annoyed at plunking down four bucks a month to not be entertained in the slightest. Anyway, let’s talk about this issue or whatever, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

The contents of this month’s Wonder Woman are about to be revealed!!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!!

Unless you’re one of the many folks who read these reviews instead of the comic!!

If you are, you’ve made a wise choice!!

So the reason I’m particularly down on the book this month, other than the fact that it remains joyless, is because they killed off a new character that I really liked. Last month saw the introduction of Violet, a blue haired London street urchin who befriended the newly escaped Donna Troy. There wasn’t much to the character, really. She hooked up Donna with a new costume, and in this month’s issue they toured London together and Violet gave her some much needed advice. But she was friendly and fun and had blue hair and she seemed like a kind person. In this book, a pleasant character is rare indeed.

And she got killed. She was a thief in the employ of a tough named Link, who slapped her around and then killed her when he threw her to the floor and split her head open. This was all done to further Donna Troy’s angry journey; she flipped out, beating Link soundly before Wonder Woman arrived to stop her from killing him. Wonder Woman tried to dissuade Donna from the violent life she continued to lead, but she was too furious to listen to her.

Even worse, Violet’s death came in an issue that was rife with women getting beaten up by men in graphic ways. The second and third pages of the books were a double page spread of Aegeus punching Wonder Woman in the face, with her head snapping back and blood flying out of her mouth. He continued to punch her on the next page, with similar gore. Then Violet got viciously backhanded by Link before being thrown to the ground. It’s all just so unpleasant. These aren’t things I want to see over and over, much less in a double page spread.

So Violet is dead and Donna is angrier than ever. Oh, and also turned to stone. Aegeus showed up at the end of the book and shot her with an arrow, trying to help Wonder Woman, oddly enough. She and Donna were fighting in the street, so Aegeus took down Donna because he’d realized the error of his ways and wanted Wonder Woman’s help in escaping the hold of the goddess he was working for.

As the book’s final page revealed, this goddess was Eirene, the goddess of peace. It’s a bit of a deep cut, Greek pantheon-wise. Eirene’s not an Olympian, though in some stories she’s the daughter of Zeus, and she doesn’t play a huge role in Greek mythology. She’s more a goddess that’s invoked because of her association with peace rather than a goddess that actually gets involved with the stories as a character. She was big in Athens, with a statue and everything, but again, that was mostly a symbolic thing about peace in Athens rather than a monument to any great Eirene story.

Anyway, she’s the big bad. The Finches seem to be setting up a connection between her and Ares, perhaps in a romantic way that plays on an “opposites attract” dynamic. And boy oh boy, is she ever mad that Wonder Woman killed Ares and took the mantle of god of war.

I don’t know if this is a coincidence of not, but Eirene played a key role in those terrible Futures End one-shots DC put out last September. After failing to beat the mythological foe Nemesis through her god of war tactics, Wonder Woman merged with the remnants of the dead goddess Eirene to become the goddess of peace herself, with a new white costume to go along with the change.

In that story, Eirene still represented peace. In the world of Meredith and David Finch, the goddess of peace seems to be all about anger, murder, and vengeance, because why not? Everybody else is.

At the very least, we got some story progress in this issue after the absolute standstill of a book we got last month. We know who’s behind Aegeus now, Donna’s got herself in a real pickle being turned to stone and such, and Wonder Woman is in the middle of it all. It’s never a good sign when the best thing you can say about a comic is, “Well, something happened.” But that’s a big plus for Wonder Woman. The plot moved forward! In extremely unpleasant ways, though. So long, Violet, one of the only not terrible people in this book! You’ll be missed.

Wonder Woman’s December 2015 Covers and Solicits

September 21, 2015

Let’s jump into the books straight away because Wonder Woman stars or appears prominently in about 843 different comics in December. Actually, now that I look at the list again, it’s 7. But still, it’s a lot of books! So let’s see what she’s doing to be up to during the festive season, starting with Wonder Woman #47:

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WONDER WOMAN #47
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA
Cover by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
Variant covers by AMANDA CONNER
On sale DECEMBER 30 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
As her duties as God of War draw Wonder Woman into battle, the Cheetah resurfaces to strike!

The Finches are still here, so that’s disappointing. But David’s got the month off for interior art. I’m not familiar with Miguel Mendonca, but it looks like a lot of his work has been done at Zenescope, which isn’t a terribly encouraging sign. But you never know; he could be great! We’ll find out in December.

Next up, Superman/Wonder Woman #24:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #24
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale DECEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It’s the team-up you never expected, as Superman and Parasite take on those other energy suckers, the Pale Riders, to free Firestorm! Meanwhile, Wonder Woman fights an unstoppable behemoth that can contain—and consume—her powers!

Firestorm is still in the book? He just showed up last week. He must be sticking around for a while. I’m glad to see Superman and Wonder Woman on separate adventures this month. I’m totally on board for keeping them apart.

Superman/Wonder Woman has an annual out in December too:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #2
Written by KEITH CHAMPAGNE and PETER J. TOMASI
Art by YANICK PAQUETTE, CHRISCROSS, MATTHEW CLARK and others
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale DECEMBER 30 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Forged in the fires of battle, their union is one the world fears and hates—and some have tried to tear it asunder! Now witness the trials of the romance of Kal and Diana, and how it all came to be. See the first kiss and last breath of Superman and Wonder Woman in this epic tale that recounts the most dangerous love story of all.

Hooboy, this sounds awful. Highlights of one of the lamest romances of all time seems like a terrible idea for a comic. But Yanick Paquette is drawing some of it, so it should like nice, at least. I’m going to be so annoyed shelling out $5 for this.

Next up, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #17:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by TRINA ROBBINS
Art by CHRIS GUGLIOTTI
Cover by ANNA DITTMAN
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST • FINAL ISSUE
Diana’s compassion is tested when Dr. Barbara Minerva appears, begging for assistance as she seeks out the last remaining source of urzkatarga, the plant that supplies the serum that transforms her into the Cheetah. And if she can’t use it to replenish her supply, she’ll die. But when the Amazon princess/super-hero and the scientist/super-villain make their way to the “Island of Lost Souls,” they find more is at stake than expected!

The final issue!! I’m so upset. I know that these digital books never last that long so I expected that the ax would be falling on Sensation Comics soon, but I love this book! It’s Wonder Woman’s only decent regular showcase, and so many great stories have come out of it. I’m glad to see that Trina Robbins is writing the final installment. She’ll bring it, for sure, and end the book with a bang.

Now we move to some non-Wonder Woman books that feature her prominently, starting with Harley’s Little Black Book #1:

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HARLEY’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK #1
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by AMANDA CONNER and a bunch of people who owe her favors
Cover by AMANDA CONNER
Variant covers by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T+
It’s the sensational debut of a bimonthly, overstuffed, oversized team-up series in which Harley meets (and almost certainly annoys) the greatest heroes and villains of the DC Universe! First up? The incredible Wonder Woman! There’s a plot to assassinate Wondy, and Harley is convinced that only she could possibly stop it! (Hey, you want to tell her about all the other options? We tried.)

Harley Quinn’s got a new series and Wonder Woman is the first guest star! I don’t love them putting Wonder Woman in a tiny outfit on the cover, but the inside of the book will probably be fun. Harley Quinn is an odd but enjoyable book, and I’m sure this new title will carry on in the same vein. And Amanda Conner drawing Wonder Woman could be a good time.

Wonder Woman’s front and center on Justice League #47 as well:

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #47
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JASON FABOK
Variant covers by JIM LEE
On sale DECEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Super-star artist Jason Fabok returns as the second act of “DARKSEID WAR” begins! As the members of the Justice League struggle with their new Godhood abilities, Wonder Woman must turn to the beings that have fought the Anti-Monitor before: the Crime Syndicate! Plus, what secret does Grail hold that will change Diana’s world forever?

The Anti-Monitor is in this? I haven’t been following “Darkseid War” at all, though I’m looking forward to reading it when it’s collected because I really like how Jason Fabok draws Wonder Woman. Plus, Fourth World stuff is usually pretty fun. Isn’t Batman now Metron or something? The occasional tidbits I hear about this storyline always sound super weird, but sort of intriguingly so.

Finally, Donna Troy is stopping by to visit Titans Hunt #3:

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TITANS HUNT #3
Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by PAOLO SIQUEIRA
Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
On sale DECEMBER 2 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 12, $3.99 US RATED T
Haunted by a past they no longer recognize, Dick Grayson and Roy Harper hunt for the truth. Somehow, somewhere, there must be someone who can explain the memories that obsess them but don’t belong to them. Their search has unleashed the rage of Atlantis, but that’s nothing compared to the fury of the Amazonian outcast waiting for them in the shadows.

I’m not 100% on what the premise of this book is. Is it that the New 52 versions of the old Teen Titans are being haunted by memories of themselves in the old universe, or are the old universe Teen Titans back somehow? Whatever the case, Donna Troy’s in this one, wearing her rad new costume. And it sounds like she’s going to be angry because Amazons are always angry these days. Man, Yanick Paquette’s having a busy month!

Look for all of these titles this December in comics shops and online! Or ask Santa to bring them to you.

Wonder Woman #44 Review OR Donna Troy Makes A Friend (Is Pretty Much The Only Thing That Happens In This Issue)

September 16, 2015

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Well, the latest issue of Wonder Woman isn’t as terrible as it was last month, so that’s something, I suppose. It’s still really, really bad, and sort of floundering and pointless and lacking any kind of forward momentum. But August’s issue was god awful and September’s is only awful; that’s technically progress.

This book makes me sad, gang. I don’t even know why DC is bothering to publish a Wonder Woman comic if they’re going to make one that is so poorly done on every conceivable level. If this is the best they can do, maybe DC just shouldn’t bother. Anyway, let’s do a review, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the secrets contained in this issue!

I mean, there really aren’t many!

Next to nothing happened!

But still, if you don’t want to know the details, look away!

So let’s start with that, the fact that nothing really happened in this issue. Donna made a friend, we got some unnecessary backstory for Aegeus, and Wonder Woman got better after she was shot with an arrow last week. Then Aegeus showed up at the end in a cliffhanger attack on Mount Olympus. That was it, spread out over twenty pages. There were a few little things along the way, like Hephaestus saying the arrow that hurt Diana was made on his forge but not by him, but nothing really significant. Just a few scenes, stretched thin over far too many pages, none of which moved the overarching story along in any significant way. Literally, the only big change from where we were at the end of last month is that Donna has a friend now. The rest is little fiddly stuff of minor consequence.

And really, that would be okay if the book was good. If the characters are well written and drawn and have real life and personality, I’m totally fine with a comic book having a laid back month where everyone chats and figures a few things out without moving the overall arc forward very much. In a good comic, it’s just fun to spend time with characters you enjoy. But when a comic is as flat and personalityless as Wonder Woman has been lately, an issue where there’s no story to push the cardboard characters along makes for a painful read.

It doesn’t help that the book is blatantly surface level. There’s nothing twisty or clever or deep going on here. Characters express their thoughts and feelings as directly as possible, which makes for awkward reading. Meredith Finch seems unable to communicate emotion through her writing. Comics are great because you can show and not tell. Through body language and action a writer can direct an artist to illustrate aspects of a character’s state of mind. Finch doesn’t do this at all. Writers can show and not tell with their text as well, using dialogue and internal monologues to communicate what the character is feeling without addressing it directly. Perhaps a usually loquacious character is now brusque. Perhaps a usually calm character is now frustrated with something menial. There are ways to show feelings without explicitly telling.

Meredith Finch only tells. The way she seems to write is a straight forward “I feel x because of y” formula. In the scene where Wonder Woman returns to her apartment after surviving the arrow shot, the character’s internal monologue is just a straight up recap of what happened in the past few issues. Then Wonder Woman thinks to herself, “I can’t seem to make sense of it… and right now… I think I’m just too tired and too heartbroken over Donna’s betrayal to even try.” We know how Wonder Woman is feeling because she states exactly what she’s feeling and why. Then, just in case you weren’t 100% sure that Diana is upset about Donna, on the very next page she angrily yells into the mirror while brushing her teeth, “Gods! I feel like such a fool. Damn it, Donna! Why?! Where did I go wrong?!” The writing could not possibly be more surface level and simplistic, and is thus very boring to read.

Sometimes good art can make up for bad writing, but that is not the case here. David Finch has gotten a lot better at drawing Wonder Woman, and I’ll gladly give him credit for that. The difference between his early issues and now is night and day in terms of exploitive creepiness. But in general, his art here is average at best. Wonder Woman’s been saddled with a terrible new costume, his female characters are all the same brand of generically attractive, and he has a terrible fashion sense. I didn’t mind his Hephaestus, though; Finch is good at the dark and grotesque, and I think that’s what he’s best suited for. The rest is just sort of bland.

Plus, he got rid of his one good costume choice! I absolutely love the new Donna Troy costume, with it’s cool skirt and fun arm things and cape and dramatic shoulders. I think it’s great. But in this issue, Donna’s new plucky street urchin friend advises her to ditch her costume to blend in better, and now Donna’s wearing black pants, a black belly top (of course) and a black jacket with silver cuffs, along with some silver boots, all of which is oddly shiny. It’s so boring. And it doesn’t say anything about Donna at all. It’s simultaneously completely dull and unrealistic. No one would ever wear an outfit like this, especially if the point is to blend in. Something as unexciting as jeans and a t-shirt would have been a better choice; at least that’s realistic. This weirdly stylized yet bland outfit is just kind of ridiculous.

Anyway, it wasn’t a great issue this month. I’m bummed about losing my favourite costume in the book, I’m bummed about the painfully on the nose writing, and I’m bummed that the story is moving like molasses because that means it’s going to continue for months to come. This book needs a full revamp, and the sooner the better.

Wonder Woman #44 Preview OR Aegeus’ Rough Luck

September 14, 2015

Wonder Woman #44 is set to hit comic shops this Wednesday, and David Finch is back on art duties. I’m shocked to say that this is a good thing, but Ian Churchill’s fill-in last month was pretty rough, and Finch has improved his art on the book over his run from god awful at the beginning to not that bad as of late. I’d much rather Finch’s bland renderings than Churchill’s pursed lips and big hair. I’m totally damning Finch with faint praise here, I know. He really has made some smart adjustments to make the book less creepily “sexy”, and he deserves credit for that.

Both Finches are on deck for Wonder Woman #44 this week, and Comic Vine has a preview:

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As you may recall, last month Aegeus shot Wonder Woman with a golden arrow that made her eyes bleed and ultimately knocked her out. It seems she’s shaken that off. I don’t know if she’s going after Aegeus or continuing her search for Donna Troy now, but I suppose we’ll find out on Wednesday.

Speaking of Aegeus, we’ve got more of his backstory here and boy oh boy could I not care less about that. A petulant and entitled villain is annoying enough without having to slog through his backstory every month. These flashbacks really haven’t added much to the story other than confirming that Aegeus is a jackass, which has already been well established in the present. Aegeus-centric pages make my eyes glaze over, which isn’t great because I’m already struggling pretty hard to keep some degree of interest in this book each month.

Wonder Woman #44 is available in stores and online this Wednesday. If every issue of the book that the Finches have done before this are any indication, it’s probably not going to be a very good read. But hey, Terry and Rachel Dodson did a variant cover, so there’s that! They’re always a good time. If you don’t enjoy the inside, at least you can get this lovely cover outside:

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Wonder Woman #43 Review OR Donna Troy On The Lam!

August 20, 2015

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I was out of town yesterday so I’m a day late getting to read this month’s Wonder Woman, but going through the issue today tells me I really didn’t miss much of anything. This issue is kind of a mess, and honestly at this point I’m not sure how the editors at DC Comics think this book is something worth putting on the shelves. It’s harsh to say, I know, but this is such sub-par comic booking. I know DC puts out a ton of books each month and some of them are going to fall through the cracks, but this is WONDER WOMAN. She’s the most famous female superhero ever, plus she’s going to play a key part in the upcoming film universe. You might want to put her in a book that’s not so aggressively bad each month. Before we dig into the issue, first I need to say:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal everything that happened in this comic!

If you haven’t read it yet, look away!

If you have read it, my condolences! It’s rough stuff!

Let’s start with the writing. The writing on the series hasn’t been great as a whole since Meredith Finch took the helm, but this issue is a special kind of bad. It just doesn’t work on any level at all. First, her use of space is bizarre. The book opens with four pages of Wonder Woman finding out Donna Troy has escaped and trying to figure out what’s happened when Strife is RIGHT THERE. It’s so drawn out, and largely unnecessary. The book could have started with Wonder Woman meeting Milan to look for Donna and added a quick paragraph explaining Donna is gone and she can’t find her and the book wouldn’t lose anything. We know from last issue that Strife was getting into Donna’s head. There’s absolutely no new information presented in these pages.

Speaking of which, when we finally catch up with Donna in London, we’re met with three pages where Donna recounts her entire life story. Literally, all of it. Granted, she’s only a few weeks old at this point, but it’s nonetheless a lengthy recounting of things we already know. I understand the need to remind people of what happened, and even to make the book accessible for new readers; every issue is someone’s first issue. But three pages is beyond excessive and, yet again, adds nothing new to the story.

Donna is in London to find the Fates, and Finch writes them like Yoda but more incomprehensible. I had to read several of their panels more than once because in her attempt to make them sound mystical and mysterious, Finch made their dialogue just a straight up mess. One of the lines is, “Your thread, spun not have these hands.” What the Fate is trying to say here is, “These hands have not spun your thread,” and putting the words in a blender to make them sound fancier just doesn’t work.

After Donna’s visit with the Fates, Wonder Woman shows up, but here’s how she found them: Milan explained his vision to her and it was all vague and such, and Wonder Woman picked up on one of the words, “fate”, and made a list of all of the places in London with the word “fate” in the name. She then checked them out, and wouldn’t you know it, she found them at the very last place on the list. It’s so dumb. She literally flies to this place, holding the dang list. What this means is that Wonder Woman went to the trouble to get this mystical vision from Milan, sat down with the London phonebook, and wrote out every place with the word “Fate” in the name. At least that wasn’t a three page scene in the book. It’s all such a bizarrely basic and silly way for the god of war to interpret a divine vision.

Then a random street urchin shows up, followed by Aegeus (we know it’s Aegeus because he tells Wonder Woman “and the name’s Aegeus”) and his golden arrows. He shoots Wonder Woman and causes her to bleed out of the eyes before she collapses in the street. Cliffhanger! Oh, plus someone kills the Fates and in a classic Frasier-style mix up, Wonder Woman thinks it was Donna when it was actually someone else who has yet to be revealed to us. What hijinks that misunderstanding should cause. It’s all just such bad writing.

I also read Superman/Wonder Woman #20 today and while I really don’t enjoy that series in the slightest, it was a well constructed issue. The story flowed logically, it wasn’t mired in redundant information, there was a dual narrative that worked well and unobtrusively, and no one did anything blatantly ridiculous. Peter J. Tomasi knows how to put together a story that makes sense and doesn’t make me shake my head every other page. Even if I don’t like the story he’s telling, he knows how to construct the bones of a story in a way that works and isn’t structurally problematic. This is probably because he’s written a ton of comics. With this issue, her tenth on Wonder Woman counting the annual, Meredith Finch has written a grand total of eleven comic books, and it really shows.

I expected that this review would be more about the art, because Ian Churchill replaces David Finch for this issue, but then the writing was so bad that I had a lot to say about that. The art doesn’t help the writing, though. There’s a lot of pursed lips and tall hair; it all felt very early 2000s to me, more so than some of Churchill’s previous work that I remember from the actual early 2000s. The whole thing seemed very dated. Also, all of the women looked about the same. The pursed lips and big hair was part of this, but even with the Fates, who were supposed to be old, it just looked like Churchill drew his usual female facial structure and added a bunch of wrinkle lines on top of it. This was most telling with the Fate with the mad cleavage. This busty Fate wore a revealing dress, and it was wrinkle lines all the way down until her balloonish, smooth breasts. It was a bizarre artistic choice in a variety of ways. I did like Churchill’s Donna Troy, though. He nailed the costume, which I love anyway, and because her hair is a little different he couldn’t draw her quite in the same way he drew everyone else, and the result was some decent work.

Overall, this is a very bad comic book. I hoped that Wonder Woman would get better at some point, but it’s just treading water at this point. Thus far, this second arc has presented a less terrible take on Wonder Woman herself, at least, but the structure of the book is such a redundant mess that it’s just painful to read. Also, I’ve been hard on Meredith Finch here, but the editorial team really needs to step up and help shape this book into something more readable. They’re falling down on the job massively, because with some tweaks this book could be a lot more bearable. Not good, but better. Inoffensively bland instead of full on awful. A lot of this stuff is fixable at the script stage. When there’s an unnecessary three page flashback, maybe someone should say, “There are perhaps better ways to spend our time.” That might help things.

Wonder Woman #43 Preview OR Ian Churchill Replaces David Finch For An Issue

August 17, 2015

Wonder Woman #43 is out this Wednesday, and things are going to look a little bit different. David Finch is taking the month off and Ian Churchill is in to take his place as the first fill-in artist to appear in the book since the Finches took over. I honestly expected it a lot sooner; David Finch isn’t the best at keeping a regular schedule, but he did eight straight issues of Wonder Woman and part of an annual. Say what you will about the quality of his art, but that’s a solid streak for a guy not known for his speed.

Let’s take a look at what we’ll get in Wonder Woman #43 this month, courtesy of Comic Vine:

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I haven’t seen Ian Churchill’s work in a long time. I think the last issue of his I read was maybe an early issue of Supergirl when they relaunched it after the Michael Turner run in Superman/Batman? That must be almost a decade ago now. His style here looks more cartoonish than I remember. Also, everyone sort of looks like they’re eating lemons; there’s a lot of puckering going on here. At first glance I’m not loving Churchill’s take on things, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve read the whole issue.

The story seems to be continuing to plod along at a glacial pace. If Donna Troy is gone and Strife is there, it really shouldn’t take four pages for Wonder Woman to but two and two together and go off looking for her. “Do you know anything about this?” is perhaps the dumbest possible response to finding Strife at the scene of a suspicious incident. She’s Strife. Of course she was involved.

Anyway, after months and months of subpar comic booking we’ve got something a little bit different with this new issue of Wonder Woman. Whether it will be better remains to be scene, but the look will be changed up at least. Look for Wonder Woman #43 in comic shops and online this Wednesday!


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