After Christmas's flotilla of comics featuring Wonder Wonder, this week's been a little more sedate. Some might even say gentle, given how romantic it's all been. Over in The Legend of Wonder Woman #9, Steve Trevor is pining after Wondy as she takes him back to Man's World; meanwhile, Superman and Diana are holding hands again in Action Comics #48; and in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #4, Tyrant Superman is realising just how important alternative Diana is to him, even if she's now playing hard to get.
Find out more after you learn how to draw Wonder Woman the Jim Lee way.
The Legend of Wonder Woman #9
Diana's declared the winner of the Contest and after a bit of squabbling among the Amazons, she wins the right to take Steve Trevor to the outside world. To help her in her journey, Hippolyta gives her a few familiar items. As with previous Legend of Wonder Woman issues, they're all a melange of previous Wonder Woman continuities, particularly Golden Age Wonder Woman, but with some original changes.
So rather than Diana having any powers of her own, given to her by different gods and goddesses, here she gets them from artefacts: her trademark bracelets are now from Artemis; her tiara is mind- and body-enhancing and comes from Athena; her boots from Hermes give her the 70s/80s ability to glide on winds; TV series-style, her girdle, now a gift from Zeus, gives her great strength; her eagle chestpiece comes from Hephaestus; and her Lasso of Truth was made from the girdle as per Volume 2 but by Hippolyta this time.
Suitably festooned, Diana sails to the outside world with Steve, who quite understandably would rather stay with Diana.
Unfortunately, there's a sea monster on their tail.
Fortunately, there's a game of the gods afoot and Poseidon wants to ensure all the pieces manage to get to the board before the game begins.
But that's not necessarily the board you might have been expecting.
Is it any good?
While each of the individual Legend of Wonder Woman issues is rarely ever fist-pump-worthy, collectively they're shaping up to the most reverential and thoughtful 'origin story' for Diana. At each turn, we're getting the 'best of breed' pick of all the possible origins, with invention added where none of the previous options were ever that good. Unfortunately, all this reverence - with Diana the best because she works hard, not because she's been born that way, for example - while it's no doubt intended to be inspirational stuff for American girls, also robs the story of wonder.
Yes, she may be a better example than all those Disney princesses (except for the one from Brave, obviously), but it's a bit like giving us a Superman who simply worked out a lot then got a exosuit as a reward - not necessarily a bad choice for a different superhero, but not really Wonder Woman any more (well, not for the past 70 years or so, anyway, outside the TV versions) and not necessarily that interesting.
It might also be nice if she grew a personality trait that wasn't all about self-sacrifice. Sense of humour? Interest in dancing or trigonometry? Something. Still, she's young - she's got time.
Caveats aside, a good issue with a lot happening.
Rating: 5/7 (Artwork: 7/7)
Action Comics #48
Following on from the latest issue of Superman/Wonder Woman, we continue the lovingly-well-timed-for-DC's-Legends-of-Tomorrow Vandal Savage storyline in Action Comics #48. Turns out it's Savage who's been draining Superman and a whole bunch of other superheroes for the past year or something, not just his son. But no sooner has Diana escaped from Savage Jr's draining machine then she's been stuck in Savage Sr's more powerful neck clamp version.
(Notice that we're slowly migrating to 'goddess of war' as a pan-DC term for Wonder Woman. That's now what Diana's calling herself, too.)
Fortunately, Superman gets a super exo-suit (do you see what I did there?) that allows him to fly and do proper superthings for long enough that he's able to extract Diana from the draining machine.
Unfortunately, not only is the suit powered by Kryptonite, but all of Superman's superfriends get captured and Diana and Superman end up plummeting to the Earth.
Still, when they land, at least they're holding hands.
Is it any good?
I guess we can chalk up the ease of the goddess of war's capture to the fact she's already been drained once quite recently, otherwise that would just be demeaning. But for those looking for hope that Superman/Wonder Woman isn't doomed, that final panel should provide a few crumbs.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 6/7)
Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Five #4
While all the world's crims are up to nefarious scheming, either for or against Superman, Diana is having a quiet word with Supes. She's pointing out that it's not just his regime and that he couldn't have succeeded without the help of the other Justice League members still on his side. It's a point Superman understands very well.
Very well. Although Diana's no pushover, it turns out.
Well done, Supes. So that only took you… five years?
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 3/7)