I don’t even know where to start with this hot mess of an issue. This is an astonishingly bad comic book in general, and an even worse Wonder Woman comic. The last page should make me so happy, but it just makes me sad. All of the pages before it are no better, and for SO many reasons. I’m having trouble recalling a Wonder Woman comic that was ever this bad, and I’ve read ALL of the Wonder Woman comics. These people do not know what they are doing. It’s a train wreck, but not the kind where you can’t look away. I’d be glad to run as far away from this book as possible, if Wonder Woman wasn’t my beat here. Anyway, let’s talk about this catastrophe, but first:
I am fixing to tell you all of the ridiculous things that happened in this comic, so be warned!
Though I know a lot of you are reading this instead of the comic, which I can understand!
It’s a really bad book!
Let’s start with some small things and then get to the big things. Wonder Woman has a lot of feelings, gang. She’s just overwhelmed by everything. Check out this panel from her conversation with Clark, where she reacts strongly to the his suggestion that she may have reached her breaking point:
This is not how Wonder Woman rolls. She’s a damn warrior princess. She handles her business and keeps on trucking because that’s what an Amazon does. It’s not that Wonder Woman can’t have emotions or get overwhelmed by stuff. She’s not a robot. But she IS Wonder Woman. She doesn’t need to flip out and unload her troubles on a dude in every single issue.
Add to that this storyline where some random old Amazon lady is trying to make her choose between being a superhero and an Amazon queen, and you’ve basically got a book about a woman struggling to have it all. Which is ridiculous when that woman is Wonder Woman. If anyone can balance a myriad of responsibilities, it’s her. This plot is such a flawed approach to the character. Plus it reeks of a ridiculously dated take on female characters generally; this sort of thing was getting old when it was the angle of every female-led television show in the 1990s. Wonder Woman is SO much better than the story they are giving her.
Aside from the bad story, the art is a rough scene too. When David Finch was announced as the book’s artist, me and pretty much everyone familiar with his work was concerned that his style might be too sexy for Wonder Woman. And guess what? Yeah, it really is. I was hoping he’d tone things down a bit for a feminist icon, but not so much. There’s a scene where Wonder Woman goes into battle in special armour, and the chest plate doesn’t even cover her belly. It’s ARMOUR. It has a very specific purpose. Armour that bares your midriff is useless armour. Finch also poses Wonder Woman in odd ways; even when she’s just standing around, her hips are cocked slightly so as to stick her rear out a little bit.
Worst of all, we’ve got Amazon butt crack. I’m not even kidding. There’s an Amazon gal wearing little more than a loincloth around her nether regions, and in one panel we see her from behind and we can see some definite butt crack, bent over plumber style:
This is a WONDER WOMAN comic book. We should not be getting butt crack.
Nor should we be getting Amazons colluding with evil witches to sacrifice babies, but here we are. The degradation of the Amazons is a pet peeve of mine. I hated what Azzarello did to them, turning them into rapists and murderers, but at least in their present interactions they didn’t behave like monsters to each other. There were quarrels, but ultimately they all worked together. Now, there are factions of the Amazons full on rebelling against Diana. The weird old lady Amazon and her associates are actively working with a sorceress to take down Wonder Woman, though we have yet to see a really good reason why other then they’re not happy to have the Manazons around. I hate when Amazons are jerks, and I hate when Amazons backstab each other. They are supposed to be better than us; it’s kind of their thing. Making them cackling, conniving villains is the worst. And also very 1990s. This book would have been ALL the rage with fanboys in 1993.
This sorceress collusion leads us to the big reveal at the end of the issue: The return of Donna Troy. I love Donna Troy, so I should be happy to have her back, but bringing her back buck naked via the cauldron of an evil sorceress bent on destroying the Amazons is pretty much the last way I wanted to see her return, especially with such a subpar creative team at the helm. The return of Donna Troy should be exciting. It’s been years since we’ve seen her! And yet my only reaction was, “Oh no, now she’s been dragged into this mess of a book too.” I could not possibly be less excited about this turn of events. All that I can hope for at this point is that she comes out of this storyline relatively unscathed and can find a home somewhere else in the DC universe with writers and artists who will do her justice. Secret agent Donna Troy might be fun in Grayson, perhaps.
So basically, I liked nothing about this comic book. I actively hated most of it, to be quite frank. I have seen nothing in these first two issues that suggests that Meredith and David Finch have any understanding of Wonder Woman, much less the ability to tell an interesting and engaging story. The whole thing is a mishmash of clichéd ideas about female characters, sexy adolescent Amazons except for the one super old one who is of course evil, and senseless shock value. It’s rough all around, and I really can’t see how it could get any better. I can’t believe I have months of this ahead of me.