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
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 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.
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.
Justice League #44
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.
Thanks heavens Diana’s got her head on straight.
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!
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…
…or standing around with everyone else, watching the fight or events unfold.
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.
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #22
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.
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.
Should they go ahead without him? Yeah, why not? What could possibly go wrong?
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.
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