Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman ’77 #12, Justice League #44, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year 4 #21

Assuming you all aren’t too busy studying your statue of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for potential plot clues, it’s time for our weekly round-up of the Amazon princessqueen’s latest appearances in DC comics.

Surprisingly, last week’s theme was radioactivity. First, we had the culmination of Celsia 451 in Wonder Woman ’77, which gave us the eponymous villainess’s nuclear-fuelled origin. Meanwhile, over in the continuation of the Darkseid War in Justice League #44, Superman took some bad radiation and went all bad. Lastly, somewhere over the gods’s new home on Paradise Island in Injustice: Gods Among Us, the missiles are flying. Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Wonder Woman '77 #12

Wonder Woman ’77 #12
Plot
Well, there’s not much plot to be honest. The first half of the issue is a very mismatched fight between Wonder Woman and the Atomic Knights…

The Atomic Knights attack Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman wins against the Atomic Knights

The second half sees Wonder Wonder force Celsia to explain her origin story and to surrender herself, in return for justice against the men who nuked her.

Celsia's origin story

Celsia's origin story continues

Celsia gets justice

Is it any good?
To be honest, no. Despite a good start, the story quickly became a simple beat-em-up that amounted to as little as the previous Wonder Woman ’77 Cheetah origin story. I’m not sure if writer Marc Andreyko is playing a long game here or not and is setting the foundations for stories further down the line, but the last six issues collectively feel like a missed opportunity.

While it’s nice to see Diana regularly victorious over the bad guys through her own, usually peaceable actions for the first time since the nu52 began, there’s been nothing in the writing of the past two stories that really adds to the Wonder Woman TV series or comics. It’s Wonder Woman faces generic baddie, defeats generic baddie, end of story, without reference to much of the TV series beyond Diana and Steve Trevor. It does make me wonder how popular the title is and how long it can last.

On the other hand, the art by Cat Staggs in the past three issues has been nothing short of phenomenal so if the only thing you want to see is more of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, then Wonder Woman ’77 does the job at a very decent price. There’s also the occasional moment where Andreyko does something that makes you feel glad he’s writing it.

Thank the gods, says Steve Trevor

Rating: 4/7

Justice League #44

Justice League #44
Plot
In contrast to Wonder Wonder ’77, there’s quite a lot of plot in Justice League #44, all of it big Geoff Johns comic book things. We are, of course, still in the middle of the Darkseid War, with Batman now a New God with Green Lantern, discovering the origin of the Anti-Monitor, the Anti-Monitor slugging it out with Darkseid while the various armies around him slug it out, and Superman’s on Apokolips with Lex Luther.

Everyone’s gone a bit strange. Superman’s bathed himself in the fire pits full of some odd solar radiation and he’s gone a bit evil. Batman’s gone power-mad, thanks to all the new knowledge he’s got from his Mobius throne.

Back on Earth, the Flash has gone a bit strange, since Darkseid’s filled him up with the Black Racer.

The Black Racer has possessed the Flash

Thanks heavens Diana’s got her head on straight.

Wonder Woman will save us

Of course, things all go a bit pear-shaped when it turns out the mystery ingredient in Anti-Monitor is Darkseid’s Holy Grail: the Anti-Life Equation. And everyone is much surprised, including the gods inside Shazam, when the equation and Darkseid mix, resulting in… the death of Darkseid!

The gods are frightened

Darkseid is dead!

Is it any good?
From the point of view of our Diana, much of the issue is her fighting against the odds and not doing particularly well…

Diana attacks Grail

Grail zaps Diana

…or standing around with everyone else, watching the fight or events unfold.

Wonder Woman watches

Sure. Because at the height of battle, fighting someone who’s at least as strong, fast, powerful, etc, as you are, you’re going to stop fighting them and turn your back on them, so you can watch the highlights of someone else’s match.

In other words, typical Geoff Johns ‘low brain impact’ work, but which is still full of overall story arcing that will set the nerd pulse a fluttering. Not great from a Wonder Woman POV, of course, but we’re in the middle of a standard comic book Big Battle, so naturally the darkest hour is just before the dawn.

Of course, Darkseid’s dead now, which means the war’s over since that was the whole point of it – to kill Darkseid. Whether everything will now be lovely and fluffy, or we’re going to end up with Darkseid waking up, full of Anti-Life Equation or doing a Death of Superman, we’ll have to wait until next month to find out.

And, of course, beautiful artwork by Jason Fabok as usual.

Rating: 6/7

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #22

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #22
Plot
Wonder Woman and the remnants of the Justice League are taking refuge on Atlantis. Wonder Woman wants to fight, although to be honest, at this stage, I’m not sure if she wants to fight Batman and his merry band or the gods and the Amazons. But it’s Injustice – who’s fighting whom is relatively unimportant, as long as they fight.

Wonder Woman wants a fight

Fight!

Meanwhile, the governments of the world have decided that they need to kill the Greek gods, who are currently on Paradise Island. Unfortunately, Zeus is not among them.

Let's nuke Themiscyra!

Should they go ahead without him? Yeah, why not? What could possibly go wrong?

Fire all rockets!

Is it any good?
It’s as stupid as always, basically. First, we have the weird idea that the few gods we’ve so far seen from the pantheon, including Atlas and Eros, are the ‘upper command’ of the Olympian gods. Even kids still in school know there are 12 chief Olympian gods, six gods, six goddesses (usually), including Athena, Ares and Aphrodite, none of them Atlas and Eros. And that’s before we get started on what the Chthonic gods might make of it all. But I guess we’ll have to use the standard ‘Elseworlds’ defence for this.

Then we’ve got to deal with the idea that the gods can be killed and won’t spot nuclear missiles heading their way. Despite being gods, Zeus being a cloud god, among other things.

We’ve also got to deal with the idea that a world would unify its nuclear missiles to attack Themisycra (location: usually unknown but often very close to the US coast, particularly the Bermuda Triangle) and that they’d do it on the offchance that the chief god who isn’t on Themisycra but who zapped the Vatican last issue isn’t going to be mightily annoyed you just tried to kill his family, his holy land, etc.

Stupid writing, stupid characters. Stupid.

But reasonably fun, at least.

Rating: 2/7

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 the following week




  • JustStark

    Is it just me who can't read 'I was just your average girl, working in the small town's one industry: a nuclear plant' without sniggering?

    No story that begins that way was going to end well…

  • That's fair. It's tonally quite similar to the TV series in that regard, which had the same sort of attitude to the comics as the Batman TV series did, but took itself a lot more seriously, without realising the two things didn't blend very well. The first series set during the Second World War almost worked but once it hits the 70s it was unintentionally self-parodic.

  • JustStark

    I've just realised what it reminds me of: it's as if Journey did the soundtrack to a Troma film.

    'I was just a small-town girl… 'Til I was bathed in nuclear fuel…'

  • Don't stop believin'… in Atomic Knights

  • JustStark

    I do like these weekly insights into the utterly bonkers world of superheroes.

  • Mark Carroll

    Ha, this tangentially reminds me: Whenever a comment here reminds me of some related news, I usually then realize that it's news that was already covered in this blog thus not worth re-mentioning! TMINE's coverage of media news must be fairly comprehensive. (-: (And always within a day of my noticing separately.)

  • I thank you kindly! I do my best, although what I put up is effectively a curated sub-sample of all the news, winnowed down to the things I think are relevant and useful

  • They are bonkers, yet at the same time, this is just a toe into the water. Even 'Superman' makes most of this look tame

  • JustStark

    Oh, I'm sure. Is the mad thing where they sent them all to a dark future where they fight evil versions of themselves from a different dark future still going on? Or did that turn out to be just a dream? Or is that what turned into the one where they're fighting Zeus, or is that completely different madness?

    Did you ever look at Astro City? I'm pretty sure it's the only superhero comic actually worth reading (and yes, I include things by Alan Moore in that).

  • I think you're talking about either Futures End, which is definitely over, or Convergence, which is mostly over but has three limited series spin-off titles coming soon.

    Both are separate from Injustice: Gods Among Us, which is basically a prequel series to a video game (now available in shops, folks) that's basically Mortal Kombat but with alternative reality versions of DC Superheroes hitting each other a lot to see who's top superhero/superheroine.

    I've had a look at Astro City, but not actually read any yet. It looks interesting and I probably will get round to it at some point. Have you read Miracleman, BTW? Watchmen gets all the kudos, but I think Miracleman is the definite Alan Moore superhero comic (Swamp Thing is probably a tie in terms of deep and meaningful statements, but probably not technically a superhero comic)

  • JustStark

    a prequel series to a video game (now available in shops, folks) that's
    basically Mortal Kombat but with alternative reality versions of DC
    Superheroes hitting each other a lot to see who's top
    superhero/superheroine

    Gloriously bonkers.

    I've had a look at Astro City, but not actually read any yet. It looks interesting and I probably will get round to it at some point

    It starts off with Superman and Wonder Woman getting together, so you'd probably like that. My favourite is The Nearness of You, which may be the most romantic thing I have ever read. And there's a new paperback coming out this month that I have been waiting for which is why I'm thinking about it (I'm in that annoying stage where I am impatient to read something so I would like to switch to getting the hardbacks, but it would make my shelves all untidy).

    Have you read Miracleman, BTW?

    Haven't, no; from what I've heard it doesn't sound as good as Astro City (sounds more about the angst) but I heard they are re-issuing it, but looking on Amazon it seems to be only in expensive hardcovers, and if I got one of them I'd have to get them all because I'm insane like that. If it turns up in the library comics section I will certainly check it out.

  • Miracleman's not that angsty. There's some angst, but in a sort of “real world issues meet superheroes” way. Ultimately, it's really a sort of extrapolation of what would happen to the world if there really was at least one Superman-powerful superhero among us that ends up being a musing on the nature of gods and society. Got some quite hardcore sci-fi to it and it's surprisingly influential, too – there's even a season ending of Buffy that you can trace back almost exactly to one particularly iconic Miracleman moment

  • Mark Carroll

    The library in Dundee has a little Miracleman and Astro City. I'll see if we can find them.

  • The older graphic novels are fine; the new reissues have some of the side strips that accompanied Miracleman and which tie in but don't affect the plot. They're absolutely bonkers in and of themselves, but particularly so since until you read about six issues later, you have absolutely no idea why they're there and what's going on.

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