Review by: mgriffith

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Avg Rating: 3.5
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Written by DENNIS O'NEIL
Art by J. BONE

Size: 56 pages
Price: 4.99

I expected to love the 1970’s Retroactive books from DC.  The bronze age is when I first started reading comics, and I loved DC comics back in the early and mid 1970s.

Maybe I expected too much from these books.

I will certainly take the time to look through the other Retroactive books from the 1980’s and 1990’s before buying them.  $5 is just too much to spend on a comic you end up regretting after reading it.  Heck, for me it is too much to spend on a comic that is merely “okay”, too (like most of the 1970’s issues were for me).

At any rate, here is what I did not like about this book:

The art:

In the new story, the art was cartoony and lacked the charm of say a Darwin Cooke or Bruce Timm.  I have seen in the comments for this issue that some people like J. Bone’s work, but I was not a fan of it here. 

In the reprint story we have Dock Giordano doing his best to imitate Neal Adams.  Not that the art was bad, but Giordano gave us better art later in the 1970’s when he wasn’t going for an Adams style. 

The writing:

I expected so much more from Denny O’Neil. 

This is supposed to be an homage to the 1970’s style, right?  So where are the thought balloons?!?  A lot of the story is told in Diana’s thoughts – which are portrayed here in the more modern caption style, not in thought balloons.

This may seem like a minor complaint, but it threw me out of the story so often, I had to go back and re-read the story to make sure I did not miss some points O’Neil might have been trying to make.

The re-read did nothing to help my confusion or frustration.

Here is a fairly spoiler-free run-down:  Diana parachutes from a plane – not her invisible jet – into the ocean around Paradise Island to see that it is sinking into the ocean.  No word as to how she knew to go there to check on trouble or that she knew it was sinking in the first place.

She discovers the reason the island sank, faces a trippy, seemingly omnipotent being that is the cause of all the trouble, confronts challenges to satisfy this being’s commands, then we discover the whole thing was pretty much a random set of circumstances and all it made well in the end.  All the while Diana spout dialogue that seems incongruous for her and the situations at hand.

The dialogue here seems better suited to Wonder Woman’s 1940’s stories than those from the 1970’s, at least from my recollection if the WW stories and comics I’ve read.

The reprinted story – from Diana’s “mod” period – was much better, and featured an interesting guest star who we normally see mixing it up with Batman .  But the story was the first of a two (or more) part story.  So now if I want to see how it ends, I’ve got to track down back issues, reprints, etc. 

Like in the JLA retro book’s case, no thanks, DC.

There were plenty of other single-issue stories the editor could have chosen to include instead of a part of a multi-part story.

(Note that in the Flash Retroactive 1970’s book, the reprint feature is the second part of a team-up with Superman from DC Comics Presents.  In this case, the first part of that story is explained well enough that we can get the gist of what is happening well enough to follow the story.)

All in all I have been disappointed by the Retroactive books.  Maybe I expected too much from DC and the past masters.

Ratings below reflect my feelings of the new and old features combined.


Thank you for reading my review!  🙂

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 2 - Average

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