The big news last week, of course, was the unveiling of the first images from Batman v Superman, which will, of course, include Wonder Woman. Look, here she is with Bat Affleck.
In the realm of comics, though, it was a relatively quiet week, with just two appearances in continuing stories by the Amazon princess. In Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Diana once again faces Debbi Domaine aka Cheetah. Meanwhile, over in Injustice: Gods Among Us, we learn if underdog Superman can fight back in his battle against Diana – despite various bits of him having gone ‘crunch’ last week.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four
Basically, the fight is on and Clark’s not starting from a good position.
First he tries his heat vision, but as Diana points out, that just stings her a bit.
Then he tries punching her a bit. That doesn’t work out much better.
All seems lost for Superman, when suddenly, an old ‘friend’ arrives.
Is it any good?
Well the whole thing is ultimately just one big fight that proves Wonder Woman can beat Superman, so it’s pretty good in that sense. But it’s also an issue that muses on the nature of fear, with a running commentary from a certain Yellow Lantern (presumably Hal Jordan, unless Sinestro calls himself ‘dude’) on the nature of fear and how it can help you survive and prevent you from doing stupid things. Or awful things. It’s actually a moderately interesting ‘Young Miracleman’-esque commentary on how godlike powers without check will ultimately leave you doing terrible things.
True, it ties into the usual narrative of ‘Lois and other humans are the only things that keep Superman grounded’, which is slightly insulting to Superman (“Hey, Clark, forget your upbringing, conscience and sense of the heroic – you’re only one death away from becoming a sociopathic supercriminal!”), but it’s still a moderately interesting thesis with regards to fear. Are we only good because our acts have personal consequences?
Not bad when stuck in the mouth of Hal Jordan and overlaid on a great big punchfest, huh? Shame Sinestro had to ruin it all, isn’t it? All the same, the best of the Injustice issues this ‘year’.
Rating: 4.5/5 (half off for slightly crappy artwork)
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #41
Following on from the Cheetah’s escape last issue, this issue is basically just a big fight between Wonder Woman and Cheetah that ends in Diana pacifying the deranged loony.
And that’s pretty much it, beyond Wonder Woman’s lawyer pal managing to save someone’s life.
At the end of it all, Wonder Woman’s feeling pretty bummed, because she knows it’s just a matter of time before the Cheetah escapes again.
is it any good?
The two issues of the story together essentially are a commentary on the weird nature of comics, where cyclically villains escape, cause mayhem and damage, before being returned to prison or mental hospital, ready for the next cycle to begin. Each cycle kills or maims endless numbers of normal people, rarely hurting those with superpowers and almost never hurting the villain – or else they can’t return to fight again. Yet the world of comics rarely sees anything done to change the nature of the cycle.
Writer Adam Beechen ironically entitles the story ‘Our Little Dance’, suggesting how little the superpowered think of these endless slugfests that cause so much misery to others, and uses both the lawyer character and other ‘mere mortals’ to show how these bystanders lives are affected and are important. They almost never get to have their stories told, but here Beechen does his best to give a slice of their lives and to show that they’re there.
Slightly confusingly for Wondy fans, however, is the use of the Cheetah. The Silver Age Debbi Domaine like the Golden Age Cheetah before her was mentally ill and wore a Cheetah costume.
However, the Cheetah here is clearly a post-Crisis Cheetah who has god-given speed and looks half-cheetah…
Is there a message here? Or simply artistic cock-up?
Either way, an interestingly philosophical story, albeit one where Wonder Woman is largely there as a representative of all superheroes and just fights and looks sad a lot.
Disclaimer: Owing to the small fortune it would take to buy every single DC comic each week, this is not a guaranteed rundown of all the comics that feature Wonder Woman. If you know of any I’ve missed, email me or leave a comment below and I’ll cover them next week