Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 06.30.2010 – Wonder Woman #600

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

552
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.2
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 12.2%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI, GEOFF JOHNS, GAIL SIMONE, AMANDA CONNER & LOUISE SIMONSON
Art by GEORGE P

Size: 56 pages
Price: 4.99

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.

 

Conor Kilpatrick
And now I want to watch the animated movie again.
conor@ifanboy.com
 

Comments

  1. I’m so fucking amped to read this.  Thanks Conor.

  2. I like the pants too.  Wow….never thought I would type that about Wonder Woman.

  3. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Man, that Jock pinup….

  4. Well that shut me up…

  5. Well now I’m quite excited to get this. If Conor, a non-WW reader like myself, can enjoy I feel I can too!

  6. Brava. I am very excited to read this. Especially after hearing about an Amanda Connor EggFu. Hurry up,UPS guy, hurry up!

  7. Nice pick!  It wasn’t my favorite this week, but I agree it’s a great setup for a new storyline.  I think once people read it they’ll realize she isn’t going to be in this alternate life forever.  She’s gonna get her memories/body/life/whatever back.  But I hold out hope that when she does she’ll decide to keep the pants.  She’s an icon.  She deserves pants!

  8. Love her Animated film, plus the JLA: Crisis on two Earths. I loved how she stole her Invisible plane.

  9. Made a trip to the LCS specifically for this issue…and they were sold out!  Believe me, that’s never happened with Wonder Woman before…I would like to read the issue before passing "judgement", also, but it is good to see this as POW, even if it took a god like Perez to get a Gail Simone story to such an achievement.  Kudos for the pick!

  10. that amanda connor story was AMAZING, also the manapul pin-up was my favorite

  11. Invincible Iron Man Annual would have been mine. I may pick up some WW if I hear that it is good for a few months.

  12. That Jock pinup, indeed.

  13. Awesome pick but still blah outfit.  I have read WW since vol. 3 started so I hope JMS can make it a better comic for even more people to enjoy.

     Matthew

  14. shocking! but a really nice review.

  15. Does this mean im going to have to pick this up now? I read the end of ruckas run and tried to read some of the reboot following infinite crisis but I’m just not sure

  16. My favorite pinup? I can’t choose! Nicola Scott, Francis Manapul, Phil Jimenez and Jock all had stellar work.

    I was only able to get 3 of my books today, but so far this is my choice for POTW. Such a fun read. I got a real kick out of Amanda Conner’s story, it’s possibly my favorite. 

  17. I pciked this up..and was very surprised.  This was a damn fine book.  Loved the pin-ups..and it did what it was suppose to do..made me want to pick up the next issue.

  18. You forgot to say that Power Girl has to explain tentacle porn to Wonder Woman. That’s the best part.

  19. First off, this issue get’s so much love from me for featuring the triumphant return of PG’s cat, who is by and far the best and coolest character of the previous Power Girl run!

     

    I think my favorite story was the Gail Simone one, as it was the beginning of her run when I started reading Wonder Woman, and I really enjoyed what I read. I’m a bit behind on her issues, but I thought that this story was the perfect endcap to her time on the book. Simone not only writes a great Wonder Woman, but also writes great supporting characters that bounce off of her.

     

    Conner’s story reeked of awesomeness. Simonson’s? Not so much.

     

    As for the main event/new status quo, I hope that the haters will finally chill out after reading this. I think it very much has an Age Of Apocalyspe feel to it, and will certainly be an interesting take on the character. As long as we have a strongly written Womder Woman, isn’t that all we’re asking for? 

  20. Wow, I totally missed the cat/life metaphor. Makes more sense now. Good review!

    Ditto on the pants Conor.

  21. Good choice.  I would have passed on this but for the "Light Week Try (This)…" posting.  A well spent $5.

  22. Better that Batman and Superman #700.

    The pin ups were really pretty

  23. I’ve been reading WW non stop since the post crisis Perez reboot so I loved most of this issue.  I can even deal with the costume.  Its the rebooted origin yet AGAIN that makes me crazy.  I’m gonna give JMS a shot only because they have hinted about tying this "new" origin back into the old one at some time in the future. But given his track record on completing stories I’m not very hopeful.  Also, poor, poor Donna Troy’s history ends up back in the crapper yet again.  Talk about a character that can’t catch a break! 

  24. This was the best out of the Trinity anniverasary issues. After seeing the Wonder Woman drawn by Ivan Reis I want him to be the regular artist

  25. Picked this up yesterday.  The JMS Story (like last week) is available now for free on comixology for those who want to check it out.

  26. JMS love again? Cool.

    I’m really worried about the next issue of The Brave & the Bold. That last issue was wack (yeah I said, wack). Wiggedy-wack? Posessed by Das EFX.

    Straight from the sewers, baby.

  27. Man, another JMS Pick of the Week. You guys are like a broken record.

  28. so, she chases a white rabbit (young girl) down an rabbit hole (alley) and turns into the new wonder woman??   

    Damnit, looks like I’m waiting to start getting into wonder woman. maybe I’ll look up some trades to pass the time.   

  29. This was great.  Unfortunately, there was the first story and the Superman story which really didn’t do much for me, so definitely not POTW, but the Conner story (which I took as a missing chapter of Power Girl), the Johns and JMS stories, and the gorgeous pin-ups (ESPECIALLY Manapul and Jock) were fantastic.  I’ll be onboard for this run, and my first time actively reading Wonder Woman.

  30. Interesting. Honestly, this was a 3-star book for me, but it did contain some four-star moments.  Of everything, I liked the JMS story the best. While I’ve been vociferous with my concerns about potential ramifications in other threads ;), I’ve said this could make for a great story, and I liked the tone, the energy and the mystery of this prologue. I’m intrigued. 4 stars

    I also really liked the Johns/Kolins piece because it really does remind you of the fun and wonder of Diana’s basic origin. Unfortunately, it’s not really a story — just a brief vignette to set up JMS. 4 stars, but a 3-star addition to the entire contents.

    Weezie’s Superman/WW story was a clunker for me. Not terrible, but terribly generic with bland dialogue. 2 stars.

    Gail Simone’s story looks great, and it’s a neat concept, but those stories where everyone just gets a line or two always feel a little one-note. However, the graduation scenes do a bit to make up for that, and end it on a great emotional note — especially for old Perez-reboot readers. 3 stars for its uneveness. 

    The pinups are great. Nicola Scott and Jock are my faves. 

    I still have a bunch of comics to read, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t POTW material for me. Glad people are talking about WW again, though. That’s very cool.

  31. This is awesome to hear, I won’t be getting my books until Saturday, but I’m really looking forward to reading this first thing!

  32. LOL. Many spoke too soon, but yeah, this is a great thing.

  33. I’m on vacay, but didn’t give this to my shop owner to pull for me.  I will pick it up though if they’re some copies when I pick up my books.  Your review made this sound great!

  34. JMS has pretty much ruined every book he has ever been on. What makes you guys think this one will be any different?

  35. @Aqua: Enlighten me, tell me how he has "ruined" books.

  36. Conor,  you’re totally right about the Vanessa graduation scene being a payoff for longtime WW readers.  I almost cried reading that scene.  With so much emphasis placed on moving WW into the future I’m glad that Perez’s run & characters were given the respect they deserve.  Perez’s original run was the first WW I ever read and it made me a lifetime WW fan. 

  37. @Jupiter I’m guessing you didn’t read his Spider-Man run, not to mention his “great” run on Thor. It’s also looking like his Superman run is going to be spectacular as well.

  38. You’re acting like fools aren’t split on their evaluation of JMS, and that’s just misleading and myopic.

    JMS is a very, very good writer. Does he make mistakes? All comic writers stumble. You are writing a short story or part of a short story every month on deadlines.

    Not to tear down other writers to lift him up, but JMS is a hell of a lot more refined of a writer than say Mark Millar or Loeb.

  39. "Sturm and drang".  hahaha!  Dude, at least remain pure and say "Sturm und drang".  😉

    Nice commentary, though.  You’ve sold me on getting this book, and though I will always carry a torch for Lynda Carter (*sigh*) and that crazy series (how can you not love anything from 1970s era television?), I’ve never read much of WW’s comics.  It’s the strange mixing of mythology and comic book worlds that always vexes me.

    Take Thor, for instance.  If we’re to buy into the idea that there are gods in "our" world, then why isn’t there an Odin comic, and a Loki comic, and so on and on?  Why just one mythological person running around in their old costumes in an otherwise modern [comic book] world fighting crime of all things when there is no shortage of metahumans and the like to do it?

    You’ve got a Hercules comic out now.  But wouldn’t his father Zeus just drop in and save the day every time?  Or simply curse the villains that hassle his demigod son?  I’m not trying to start any huge debate – and I certainly am not familiar with the background stories of every Marvel or DC character and their respective books – I’m just saying that I’ve always had a hard time reconciling the notion of Greek or Norse [or any] "gods " co-existing with the "normal" world in comics.  Seems laden with troublesome implications from the start from a writing standpoint.

    Am I pissing in the wind here? 

  40. I agree with ScorpionMasada.  JMS is polarizing, but that doesn’t mean the guy can’t write a good story.  Personally, I love what he’s doing on Brave and the Bold.  And, I liked the vast majority of what he did Spider-man and Thor.  His leaving those titles in mid-stream and his departure Marvel, for that matter, had more to do with Joey Q’s OMD/BND dictate and JMS decision to discuss his displeasure in the press.  We as readers got screwed over that debacle, but I don’t think any of that has anything to do with the man’s talent.  The guy can write. 

  41. This book didnt do anything for me. Sorry Connor…

  42. @RazorEdge7575: I’m not sure why you’re apologizing, but… apology accepted.

  43. @Conor-He wasn’t talking to you. He was talking to Connor.

  44. @Aqua: Your comment totally convinced me that you’re absolutely right.

  45. @Genghis You’re right, but only you and I give a damn. Besides, Wonder Woman makes more sense than Thor or Hercules.

     

  46. yay power girl

  47.  Like Conor, Reading this comic made me want to watch the Wonder Women DVD. I really did love this comic.

  48. Ok, now that I know there’s a discussion about Power Girl’s cat, I have to go back and get this.  Amanda Conner’s obvious love for and understanding of cats was one of my favorite things about her run on Power Girl.

  49. I got a little caught up in the hype before reading.  When I read it the costume fit.  Although I had seen it before. Check this out the pics I found in the shortbox archive

    http://ralac71.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

     

  50. That Jock pinup was awesome

  51. A really great issue to get me locked into the new JMS storyline.  I’ll be buying WW monthly for the first time ever.

  52. Just don’t get WW. Never have. Never been impressed with her in any comic she’s featured in that I’ve read. I loved the Lynda Carter series when I was a kid and WW was great in the JLA Animated shows and the WW Animated movie from last year. Maybe I just haven’t read the right WW comics? Any suggestions for WW collections that’ll blow me away?

  53. Speaking of the J. Michael Straczynski story, if her mother was killed, then doesn’t this pose an unbelievable continuity problem? Though I had trouble with many things John Byrne did during his Wonder Woman run, one of his decisions I thought was absolutely essential was his placement of Hippolyta in the Wonder Woman role in WWII.

     

    This creative choice resolved so many problems.  Unlike Superman and Batman we really do have the impression that she worked with the Justice Society.  So if Diana never had a relationship with her mother than could Hippolyta have ever been World War two Wonder Woman?

     

    Obviously I think these kinds of creative stunts, are counter-productive when an “elseworld’s” treatment would have been so much more respectful to those of us who take her character’s resent existence seriously.  In other forums I’ve encouraged DC to promote other Wonder Woman books to make this “elseworlds” treatment possible.  Yes I understand we have to keep Wonder Woman current, in the news, and attract new audiences but we the fans need the foundations that have secured our interest in the character all these years.  Ultimately the new costume will benefit Diana especially if a film presentation is looming.  I’m too afraid to ask what really happens to Donna and Cassie in this reboot scenario; I guess we will find out shortly.

     

    The first Simone story celebrates her reputation and the last Straczynski story takes the evidence of her influence away.  Thanks DC for another contradictory conception of Wonder Woman, I guess the committed regulars need to suck it up, continue spending, and remain in our seats. 

  54. @Comicrelief: I think you possibly misunderstand the premise of the story.

  55. @Jumpingjupiter

    How so.  Please explain.

  56. @Jumping Jupiter:

     While I wait for your response let me explain myself.

    Returning a wounded service man to his home country, Diana, the powerful daughter of an Amazon queen travels to man’s world (where the genders coexist).  Once in these new lands she chooses to stay to inspire her troubled new countries to adopt a culture of peace and mutual respect.

    Unique yet that description is not very different from some of the other major super hero biographies.

    An affluent boy has his parent killed in front of him after a family night on the town.  When this affluent boy grows up he chooses to use his fortune and training to wage a war on criminals by activating their owe fears of the night.

    Knowing of the imminent demise of their planet, two parents send their son to live in another galaxy where he incidentally inherits super powers.  Adopting the altruistic values of his new adoptive parents the boy becomes a beckon of hope to his new home world.

    Shortly after accidentally gaining the powers of a Spider, a teenagers neglects to stop a criminal and this results in the violent death of his uncle.  This teenager decides from then on to wage a war against criminals to avenge his uncle’s death and protect and serve his community with his new abilities.

    What I am saying is Diana’s mother was an essential matriarchal part of the formula for many of our passions for Wonder Woman.  Her current reboot removes the lineage to her homeland and renders Diana a cultural product of man’s world.  I imagine there is a plan to reestablish a large part of the Wonder Woman mythos but until then I will miss what I originally liked about a very distinct character.

  57. Man I had a big long post all done up and finger fumbled and lost it…

    Alright… I really do enjoy the new costume and I’m looking forward to the storyline for the foreseeable future.   I dont believe for a moment that this costume is going to be permanent…I can see it sticking around for the duration of the storyline or a bit longer, but ultimately we’ll get return to the classic costume.  If we get two or three years on this costume, I’m okay with that, but classic Wonder Woman will be back. 

    I’m  a sucker for a good story and this has a lot of promise.  

    My concerns are for how this will affect the Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman trinity.  DC has spent much of the last ten years really cultivating the relationships here.  The changes that have been done to WW’s origin, will by necessity have some some major repercussions on her personality and therefore her relationships to the other two.

    I’m also a bit concerned what will happen to Donna Troy and to a lesser extent Wonder Girl.   Wonder Girl’s origin can take a little twisting as it hasn’t had much if any changes yet…though if WW’s origin changes, Wonder Girl and Donna Troy’s characters will also be altered rather severely and I worry about the Wonder Girl/Superboy relationship. BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DONNA TROY CAN"T TAKE ANY MORE REVAMPING!!!   Granted, JLA and Teen Titans are not very strong books at the moment, though JLA is certainly doing better now then it had been been, but shaking up lead characters like Donna and Cassie at this point, will make those books even shakier, not stronger…

    Finally, how is all of this going to affect Brightest Day and Generation Lost?   A key component to that story is the world forgetting that Max Lord ever existed, including having his neck snapped by WW and now we see that maybe in fact it never DID happen?  I see a very tangled knot in continuity emerging…   Oh well, I can see that either Booster Gold or the Time Masters are going to have their hands full for the next several years…  first rescuing Bruce Wayne from the past, then presumably Flashpoint, and now the Wonder Woman history change…

    Ok, I need to take a deep breath….   

     

     

  58. @JumpingJupiter

    In case you were wondering I recognize Diana has been raised by Amazon guardians, I just do not think that is as significant as an upbringing form her mother or the culture that raised her previous iteration.

    @Skyfire

    I agree I am worried about Donna and Cassie also.

    Donna as a character, as well as the other original Teen Titans, have been some of the most brutalized characters in comics.  Amputations, drug addiction, deaths (of them and their kids); you name it being a former sidekick or protégé’ is a thankless job in the DC universe.  Because many of the Teen Titan mentors have been rebooted you never know when it will be time to write a former kid supporting character out of continuity.  Though Robin has probably suffered the least, Donna may have suffered the most having one of the very worst and convoluted back stories in comic’s history.  I don’t understand how many times DC has to hear that fans love this character. 

    Surviving without a code name since the last time she was brought back from the dead, like you I really don’t know what to expect this time around.

    Creative anarchy seems to be an integral part of contemporary comics.

  59. Everyone has read Age Of Apocalypse, right? When the entire X-Men universe was changed? That’s exactly what’s going on here. Chill the hell out.

  60. @Comicbookchris: That’s the way I see it too. I highly doubt this is a reboot/retcon. I think it’s far from it. It’s just a story. Something different for a year.

  61. @ Paul Montgomery "man that Jock pinup…" … what is with her face… is that what you really meant to say? It looks wonky… the eyes are all messed up. Off center one might say.

  62. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I meant it’s rad, is what I meant. 

  63. It’s friggin’ gorgeous is what it is.

  64. oh my mistake lol

  65. The pinups are all amazing. I think they chose the wrong pinup for the cover though. It’s good are just not as strong as the stuff inside.

  66. Off topic, but: I just watched half of the Wonder Woman animated movie from last year and it is so far tubular.

  67. I think that the comparison to Age of Apocalypse is a very good one.  When JMS’s initial story arc is over, I expect that the timeline will be restored to what it used to be, for the most part – but with some changes carrying over.  Then again, JMS has hinted that when the moment of truth comes, things may not go as we expect; so I’m not going to bet the farm on this. 

    That said, I’ve noticed a potentially rather interesting detail.  Geoff Johns was in on this; and Geoff Johns and JMS are the guys who are going to be writing the upcoming "Superman: Earth One" and "Batman: Earth One" graphic novels, respectively – graphic novels (and subsequent ongoing series) that are supposed to update the setting and characters to a twenty-first century sensibility.  Sound familiar?  I’m wondering (there’s that word again) if we haven’t just witnessed the birth of Earth One in Wonder Woman 600.

  68. @comicBOOKchris: I’ve agreed with you from the get go that this is very similar to AOA. It is just on a smaller scale. I’d love to see them do that with the JLA but I’m sure a similar story has be told before.

    BTW did anyone notice the lasso in the cover or just me?

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