Pick of the Week
What did the
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- Pick of the Week - 05.08.2013 - Thor: God of Thunder #8
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- Pick of the Week - 04.24.2013 - Uncanny Avengers #7
Art by GEORGE P
Size: 56 pages
Well, we are certainly lousy with Wonder Woman talk around here in the last 24 hours, aren’t we?
When I first heard that we’d get Batman #700, Superman #700, and Wonder Woman #600 all within a few weeks of each other I made some quick mental calculations (“… carry the Frank Quitely…”) and came to the conclusion that I would, most likely, like Batman the best, followed by Superman, and Wonder Woman coming in a distant third. Nothing against Wonder Woman herself, I’m really fond of her as a character; I’ve just never really truly enjoyed her book in… well, ever. I don’t think I’ve ever really loved her book.
So, keeping the above in mind I am as surprised as anyone to find that of the three comics Wonder Woman #600 was, far and away, my favorite, followed by Superman #700, and Batman #700, despite the return of artist Frank Quitely, ran a distant third.
Sometimes life is full of wonderful surprises.
(I’m not proud of that.)
The last time I regularly collected Wonder Woman was when the creative team was writer Allan Heinberg and artist Terry Dodson. I say “collected” but I only remember like three issues actually coming out. I also picked up a random issue a few months ago but it didn’t do anything for me. I tell you all of this to show that I really don’t have any idea about what’s going on currently in the Wonder Woman story and it didn’t matter one bit while reading Wonder Woman #600. It’s designed to show everyone – new and old readers alike – who Wonder Woman is and why she’s cool and then spin her off into her new J. Michael Straczynski-penned storyline.
Make no mistake. This issue is a Wonder Woman lovefest, and a damned good one at that.
Opening with a testament to the character by Wonder Woman herself (okay, Lynda Carter), this issue features five short stories interspersed with a plethora of Wonder Woman pin-ups by some of the best artists working today: Adam Hughes, Nicola Scott, Ivan Reis, Guillem March, Greg Horn, Francis Manapul, Phil Jimenez, Jock, and Shane Davis. Seriously, the pin-ups are gorgeous.
As fantastic as the pin-ups are, it’s in the stories where we find the real greatness of Wonder Woman #600.
The first story by writer Gail Simone and legendary Wonder Woman artist George Perez is probably my favorite. A small army of Cyber-Sirens have attacked the U.S. Congress and have bent all the men to their will. Rushing in to save the day is just about every female super hero in the DC Universe, led by Wonder Woman. (Of course, it’s every female super hero in the DCU. It’s George Perez, afterall. That man is insane. I love him.) This story was a textbook case in revealing and exploring character in the midst of big time action. In this story we see that Wonder Woman is as much of an inspiration to the women of the DCU as Superman is to… well, everyone. I loved seeing the different ways that Wonder Woman affected each character. My two favorites were Misfit almost hyperventilating at the thought that she had an actual team-up with Wonder Woman and The Question’s hardened veneer cracking as she tries to work up the courage to ask for an autograph. I love seeing the awe and wonder (dammit, it happened again) that Wonder Woman inspires in other heroes. It’s not something I see enough. There is a second part of the first story in which Wonder Woman leaves the battle after the Cyber-Sirens are vanquished to go watch her long-time friend Vanessa Kapaelis’s graduation ceremony. That part was certainly nice, but more of a payoff for longtime Wonder Woman readers. I barely remember Vanessa, so it was nice but didn’t hit me as hard as it would have if I had been reading Wonder Woman all of these years.
The second story was a nice surprise. Written and drawn by Amanda Conner it features a team-up from the past between Wonder Woman, Power Girl and the Cassandra Cain Batgirl. The (sort of) all-female Trinity face off against the mighty Egg Fu and his creepy tentacles. But it was mostly about Wonder Woman and Power Girl having a nice girl-to-girl chat about Power Girl’s life vis-à-vis how it relates to the happiness of her cat. This story actually sort of leads into the Power Girl series.
The third story is from writer Louise Simonson and artist Eduardo Pansica and it shows that sometimes being Superman isn’t good enough. Sometimes you need to be Wonder Woman. Especially when there’s a magic-based villain involved. This was probably my least favorite of the stories, but it was still a hell of a lot of fun.
Next we have writer Geoff Johns’ and artist Scott Kolins story and here’s where all the trouble starts. The story features two unseen people talking about Wonder Woman and the kind of person she is while we watch her fight a bunch of shadowy and suited men. In the midst of the fight the apparent captive of the men escapes and Wonder Woman chases her down an alleyway where the girl is revealed to possibly be a younger version of Wonder Woman herself. The young girl asks Wonder Woman "Don’t you wonder what’s beyond the next horizon? Let’s go see!" and runs through a doorway emanating bright light. Wonder Woman follows her through and…
… emerges in the writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Don Kramer story running down a different alleyway in her new costume.
Wait, hold up. So this is all Geoff Johns’ fault? Again? JOOOOHNS!!!
In the final story, the one that is causing all the sturm and drang in the online community (most of whom have probably never read a Wonder Woman comic book in their lives), we find Wonder Woman living in an alternate reality where her mother was murdered when Diana was a child and she was never raised on Paradise Island. Instead, she grew up in Man’s World in a city where little jackets from 20 years ago are still in style. (I kid! Mostly.) I know that a lot of people were freaking out about changing Wonder Woman’s origin or timeline or what have you, but that was before anyone read the story. I didn’t say anything about the story because I wanted to read it before passing judgment. Having read it? J. Michael Straczynski has crafted a set-up to a classic super hero story. Someone (in this case, those meddlesome Greek gods) with powerful abilities has taken our hero out of their reality, has changed their reality, and now our hero (who recognizes that something is wrong even if she can’t put her finger on it… yet) has to fight her way back home. That’s a classic set-up. I’m looking forward to it.
I just hope that when she gets home she keeps the pants. I like the pants.
And now I want to watch the animated movie again.