It was all about Lex Luthor over at Justice League last week. The newest member of the League, he’s up to something so they’ve decided to keep him close to keep an eye on him. In turn, Lex has been learning what it means to be a goodie for a change – largely thanks to Wonder Woman. But what’s he been up to? Almost all is revealed this issue…
Also last week we had the latest issue of Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, in which, with a little help from Atom, Wonder Woman goes all Giganta to deal with a Thanagarian villain in the entertainingly titled ‘Attack of the 50-foot Wonder Woman’. As you might expect, things don’t turn out quite the way you’d think.
Surprisingly, both are linked by a common theme. What might that be? I’ll tell you after the jump.
Justice League #35 (and a bit of #34)
What is Lex up to? That’s what the Justice League want to know and they don’t trust him one bit. In fact, they plan on finding out all his secrets by sticking close to him – and then arresting him. So while Bruce Wayne and Lex forge an apparent partnership, Clark Kent and Diana Prince are going to be watching.
But Luthor’s also been tagging along with them – and in the process, he begins to learn what it is to be a hero and to help people. In particular, over in Africa, Wonder Woman teaches him the virtues of humanitarian aid… thanks in part using her apparent ability to speak African languages.
While in the US, she’s rescuing kidnapped children. Everyone loves Wonder Woman. And Lex is learning from that.
Of course, Luthor really is up to something sneaky (probably) with Owlman – the parallel universe Batman.
Trouble is, someone else is also around and they accidentally release Luthor’s Amazo Virus. Oops.
Overall, despite the two issues mainly being about Lex and Batman, some nice individual moments for Wonder Woman that show her more peaceful side, which is somewhat neglected in the nu52, as well as her intellect (so far, we know she speaks English, Greek/Amazon, Kryptonian and something African, which ain’t bad), and also give us a bit more Clark and Diana for those who like such things.
Not bad for a Geoff Johns issue.
Sensation Comics #10
Hawkman and Hawkwoman are faced by a giant, shape-changing Thanagarian villain cunningly disguised as a Thanagarian brontodon. They’re not going to be able to handle it themselves, so they call in Wonder Woman – and the Atom because you’re going to need a bit more height to deal with something that mighty. And for your Godzilla re-enactment society.
At first Wonder Woman fights the monster, but when strength isn’t enough, she uses her powers over truth to compel the villain to reveal his true issues – he wants to be alone.
So Wonder Woman takes him to a part of Paradise Island where no one lives. But surely no man may set foot on Paradise Island? Well, when you’re a shape-changer there’s a fix for that.
Is it any good?
As with Justice League #34 and #35, the theme of this issue was the wisdom of Wonder Woman. In the former titles, as well as demonstrating her gift for languages, she takes on the formidable intellect of Lex Luthor and wins, showing him a side of himself he probably never knew existed.
Here, the theme is more explicit, with a flashback to Wonder Woman’s childhood where the impetuous Wonder Girl is more interested in war than wisdom.
But the older Diana realises that strength is indeed over-rated and rather than fighting a villain, it’s much better to understand him.
The story here picks up on an older, usually best-forgotten idea that the Lasso of Truth isn’t what compels people to tell the truth – it’s something inherent to Wonder Woman. Here, she channels the power into bridge cables in order to force the giant Byth to face his inner demons.
So initially what started as merely a fun little story, with guest appearances by a number of other DC superheroes, ends up being not only a little deeper but also a little transgressive: the power of the truth isn’t something given to her by the gods, but is something that stems from the Amazons, her mothers, and the villainous Byth finally is able to achieve peace with the help of this female wisdom – and by becoming a woman.
A nice little piece, all in all, that harkens back to Marston’s original ideas about women and produces a surprising ending.