With TMINE about to go off on its Christmas break, it’s time for the last Weekly Wonder Woman of 2015. It’s been a slightly dispiriting year: although we’ve seen the arrival of Wonder Woman ’77, we’ve also seen its possible departure; Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman has ended its run; neither Superman/Wonder Woman nor Wonder Woman have been lighting up the shelves with their dazzling plots; the gods came and went in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four; the big Convergence crossover only succeeded in making the formerly happily married Volume 1 Wonder Woman’s life miserable; and the two new animated movies from DC, Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, haven’t done much for Wondy either.
But there have been a few high points, including the two Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers (1, 2), the return of Donna Troi to the DC Universe, the arrival of DC Bombshells and The Legend of Wonder Woman, an honest-to-goodness Wonder Woman annual, and a few individually decent titles, including Harley Quinn’s Little Black Book #1. So, dear reader, assuming you’re not too busy looking at that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Wonder Woman character poster or watching Lego Wonder Woman do Lego Wonder Woman things…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to play as Wonder Woman in #LEGODimensions!
Posted by LEGO Dimensions on Friday, 18 December 2015
…why don’t you let everyone know what your favourite (or least favourite) moment or issue of the year was below?
Alternatively, feel free to enjoy my round-up of last week’s appearances in the DCYou (and other parallel universes) of Wonder Woman in the continuing, somewhat talky The Legend of Wonder Woman #6, the start of a new year, a new threat and a new conception of feminism in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #1, the continuation of portentous narration, the Darkseid War and a screwed up timeline in Justice League #46, and the return of Wonder Woman’s first great enemy in DC Bombshells #22.
The Legend of Wonder Woman #6
Lots of talk, some action this issue. Probably only those of you new to Wonder Woman won’t have guessed at the end of last issue that the destiny that was approaching was Steve Trevor, and here he is in all his wounded glory.
However, he doesn’t get to do much other than incidentally cause incident. Big twist of the story is that there is a plot by some of the Amazons to depose Hippolyta and they’ve brought Steve to the island to foment discord. Unfortunately, the immortal Alcippe gets in their way but it turns out in the other big twist of the story that they’re in league with Hades, who might have something that can help them, although it looks like he nicked it from Skeletor.
Wondy manages to get Steve to safety, but it looks like it’s the end of a reign for her mum.
Is it any good?
The Legend of Wonder Woman‘s biggest problem is that its ambitions outstrip its size – it simply wants to tell too complicated a story in too few pages. The result is large numbers of pages that are never ending speech balloons of plot dump, with very little action.
Writer and artist couple Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon do the best they can, drawing beautiful scenes and constantly shifting the ‘camera angle’. And it is at least an interesting plot, with the Amazons scheming for various reasons, some obviously selfish, while the Hades contingent, rather than simply being stand-ins for Ares as the usual bugbears, do at least serve a metaphorical function as well as having more complicated motivations – there are hints that Hades might even be trying to help energise the immortal, staid Amazons into important action through the catalyst of death.
But too much of the issue is people standing around explaining the plot too each other, and slightly struggling to make it coherent. It needs a good dose of ‘show don’t tell’.
Not that I’m one to be picky, obviously, and this is an alternative DC Universe, but Poseidon wasn’t really reputed as a god of healing. Given there should be one faction of Amazons dedicated to Apollo, it seems odd for there to be a bunch of Amazons dedicated to Poseidon’s healing arts.
Also, Zeus might have been messing with us with his ‘ancient Greek’, but Diana’s ‘ancient Greek’ this issue suggests not only that the Amazons have seen a similar linguistic shift as those speaking Greek back in the homeland, but they’ve coming up with a slightly odd new grammar of their own.
As we can see, here Diana is supposedly saying “Move carefully. Your arm is badly wounded.” Except this is a translation of ‘Εσείς πρέπει να παραμείνει…. [then something that looks like it might be an adverb or a feminine or neuter adjective since it ends in -(m)α]’.
‘Πρέπει’ is obviously “need” or “must”, a verb which only exists in the third person singular and which requires any verb following it to be in the subjunctive, which we duly get: ‘παραμείνει’ is the third-person singular past subjunctive form of ‘παραμένω’, which means ‘stay’. ‘Εσείς’, of course, is informal second-person singular, although it’s strange she’d use it since it should be implicit and you’d normally only add it for clarity or stress.
So clearly Diana is actually saying something like ‘you must stay still/here.’ Except the second-person singular past subjunctive form of ‘παραμένω’ is ‘παραμείνεις’ and ‘still’, of course, would be an adjective, rather than an adverb, ‘here’/’there’ being ‘εδώ’/’εκεί’ so clearly not fitting the bill in terms of ending.
However, we can perhaps guess that on the isolated island of Themyscira, the ancient Greek language has evolved to be non-conjugable in the subjunctive (much like the past-participle form in the past perfect tense), which in turn would have to become more English-like in requiring the personal pronoun to indicate who’s doing what. And maybe the gender/declension-based inflection of adjectives in ancient Greek has been replaced on the egalitarian Paradise Island with neuter/gender-free adjectives and -μα is simply one of the forms chosen.
That’ll be it, I’m sure.
Rating: 5/7 (Artwork: 6/7)
DC Bombshells #22
It’s largely an issue where this DC universe’s Steve Trevor goes a bit doolally tap from all the war, war, terrible war, requiring Wonder Woman to sing him back to sanity.
I guess it was the Second World War, when pin-ups sang, so why not? But after that musical interlude, the pair face an army of the German dead – the tenebrae!
(I think this owes more to Dario Argento than to the similarly named Christian liturgy in question.)
But who could be leading such an army? Calm yourselves, true Wonder Woman fans. It’s only Baroness Von Gunther!
For those of you who don’t know, the Baroness was Wonder Woman’s very first recurring enemy, all the way back in 1942. She did all manner of things, including hypnotising, torturing and enslaving people through to blocking America’s milk.
She was also the guest villain of one of the few halfway decent episodes of Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther, where she eventually became Wonder Woman’s ally, just as she did in the comics.
She was subsequently to reappear in Volume 2 of the comic as the leader of a cult and has also appeared in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, which naturally saw Wonder Woman turn up to rescue both Steve Trevor and Batman.
Anyway, she’s in this now, which should enliven it. At least, she might do in the next issue that carries on this plot thread, which at the current rate should be in another month or two.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 4/7)
Justice League #46
So it’s more Geoff Johns big things again. Because that’s what he does. Indeed, the repetition is really setting in now, because we start with Wonder Woman narrating everything. Again. She makes comparisons with the gods. Again. She quotes from Greek myth. Again.
Indeed, it’s stopped being a bit of character shorthand for Johns, and has started becoming like those dismal Tom Clancy novels where he quotes from Shakespeare at the beginning to make it appear that his chapter-long descriptions of cellulose-casing bombs are more important and better written than they actually are.
Wondy then spends most of the rest of the issue, along with everyone else, just hitting things/New Gods.
The other thing of import to Wondy fans is the arrival of Big Barda for a reunion with hubby Scott. Why is that important? Because Johns uses it as a parallel to the Steve Trevor/Wonder Woman relationship, Steve and Scott both similarly impressed by their powerful, similar female companions. That’s not even subtext – everyone notices that.
And when Diana and Steve are left alone, it’s time for some big questions to be addressed. Like: you and Superman – are you still a thing? Because if you’re not…
…Except they are.
Supposedly. I’m confused. Isn’t Justice League supposed to be set a while back? After all, Wondy is still wearing her beskirted outfit, rather than her three-piece suit, which she got after the Darkseid War storyline began. But Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship only went on the rocks a few months ago, at Superman’s dickish insistence and only once he was depowered and wearing a T-shirt. Here he’s in full cosi and at more than full strength, in fact.
So why is Diana acting so ambivalently? Has something else happened? Was Diana playing away with Steve, Clark found out about it and merely used her Lasso-based interrogation of his pals as a reason for a break-up? Is it in fact the other way round and the Justice League continuity exists after Wonder Woman/Superman-Wonder Woman continuity and at some point in the future, the three-piece suit will be replaced by the forthcoming movie costume? Or has Geoff Johns completely lost track of the DC You’s timeline?
Rating: 3/7 (Artwork: 3/7)
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #1
It’s the start of a new year and a new series of personality contortions for all our favourite DC superheroes, designed to enable them to punch each other with alacrity. This year, it’s the turn of a whole bunch of escaped/released supervillains to present the big bad that will energise the action.
Over on Paradise Island, Diana is feeling bad about basically everything.
(I do love the fact that Diana – a descendant of the Greek gods and a Greek of sorts herself – feels it necessary to talk about ‘the Greek gods’, even though they’re the ‘only gods our people have ever known’ and basically the only ones in the DC Universe.)
But don’t worry. Hippolyta, being an Amazon, a strong queen and a good mother, knows exactly what Diana should do. Throw everything else to one side and chase after that mental case Superman.
Welcome back Injustice.
Rating: 2/7 (Artwork: 4/7)
Happy holidays everyone!
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