Great Hera! What’s that? The first ever film appearance of Wonder Woman is due this Friday but Weekly Wonder Woman is taking a break next Monday because it’s a Bank Holiday? Something’s got to be done about that. I’m not sure what, but something. Let’s see what happens next week.
This week, however, we’ve had a few appearances by Wondy in the comics world. Over in DC Comics: Bombshells, one of the Justice League has to die – but is it Diana? Meanwhile, in Superman-Wonder Woman, there’s some fighting to be done. Plus ça change, hey? Speaking of French, over in The Legend of Wonder Woman, Paris has been liberated from the Nazis with a bit of help from Diana, but the war’s not yet over. That includes the war on foreign languages. While a few years later in Wonder Woman ’77, there’s some undercover action as Diana faces off against one of Odysseus’ many enemies, somewhere near the Panama Canal – can you guess which one it is?
All that after the jump, but we’ve had a brief crossover with the movie world, too, with Gal Gadot getting interviewed about Wonder Woman in the back of various DC Comics. Here’s what she had to say:
DC Comics: Bombshells #35
The Bombshells (aka The Justice League) are fighting Night (who for some reason calls himself ‘The Titan’) but things aren’t going well.
Mera managed to defeat the Kraken last time, but it cost her her powers. To defeat this adversary will require a life.
So who will be sacrificed? Diana? Nah. Bye bye, Supergirl.
Is it any good?
Let’s start with the artwork, which is shockingly bad. Here’s ‘the Titan’ at its most threatening.
Ooh. Feel my fear.
That’s the worst of it, but none of the characters come out of it well, particularly Supergirl, but also Diana.
As for the plot, Tab A-Slot B, basically. No explanation as to why defeating ‘the Titan’ (why is he ‘the Titan’? Nyx wasn’t one of the Titans in Greek myth) will require a death. Or how. They just sort of pluck that one out of thin air. Mopey bunch, hey? You’d think Diana would at least be off to the nearest altar to have a pow wow with Hades and Persephone at this point, wouldn’t you?
Rating: 2/7 (Artwork: 1/7)
Superman-Wonder Woman #27
Well, Peter J Tomasi doesn’t even slightly pretend the issue is about anything, given he calls it ‘Slam Bang’. It’s just a big slugging match.
I’m assuming that Diana’s artfully crafted dialogue is a supertextual reference to Gal Gadot’s most famous movie franchise (until now), but it doesn’t really work in her mouth, does it?
Nothing much happens, beyond punching and chopping, with Superman punching Vandal Savage a lot – all the way into Superman #50, in fact. Despite the issue’s title, Wonder Woman’s not in it much. And to add insult to injury, she’s not even in Superman #50, where Clark Kent ends up being hugged by Lois Lane.
If Superman/Wonder Woman is over, I can only say Diana is well shot of him. What. A. Dick.
Rating: 2/7 (Artwork: 3/7)
The Legend of Wonder Woman #19
Diana has helped the Allies to liberate Paris in true Golden Age stylee.
Meanwhile, the Nazis aren’t happy and their erstwhile allies the Duke of Deception and ‘Frau Rich’ (I’m gambling it’s a now red-headed Priscilla Rich, the first Cheetah) aren’t happy either – so they’re going to go on the war path against Diana.
(Hmm. Would any WW2 sophisticated American woman sit like that at a table? That’s an interesting debate…)
Is it any good?
After all the extensive build-up to Diana becoming Wonder Woman, it feels a bit odd to suddenly have most of her war effort confined to flashback in a newsreel. True, we get another excellent demonstration of Diana’s powers this issue, but you’d think one issue to wallow in all that Golden Age nostalgia would have been allowed. Nevertheless, a good segue into the next stage of Diana’s war.
There was also a point where all looked good on the foreign language front, too. At the start of the issue, we get French placards written in French: the words are right, although not quite in the same style as the originals. Then we get the standard, life-saving DC Comics “way to deal with foreign language dialogue” – the marvellous angle-bracket and asterisk combo.
“*Translated from French” – God bless them all. Trouble is, for some reason, as soon as we get to some German dialogue, we’re back trying to Google Translate it and entering into the same territory as previous efforts with Greek: close but not quite.
So first we have “Was ist dieser Wahnsinn?” – ‘what is this madness?’ That’s fine, even a bit aptly Nietzschean (“Seht, ich lehre euch den Übermenschen: der ist dieser Blitz, der ist dieser Wahnsinn!”).
Then we get an officer instructing a soldier: “Schnell! Abschießen!”So ‘schnell’ (as opposed to ‘so schnell’…), as 1,001 bad war comics and movies will tell you, means “Quickly” and again that’s fine. The problem is ‘abschießen’. Now, abschießen does indeed mean “to shoot down” when talking about aeroplanes or “to fire” when talking about bullets and other projectiles. The problem is that that’s the infinitive form of abschießen, not the imperative, and abschießen is a transitive, not an intransitive verb, so needs a direct object.
Now, I’m not German soldier enough to know whether a German officer would have used the informal or formal imperative to someone in his command but I suspect the former. Assuming he meant to say “Shoot her down!” and given that abschießen is also a compound verb, he would have said “Schieß sie ab!” I reckon.
Oh well. Angle brackets and asterisks for all languages next time, please?
Still, otherwise, there’s obviously been a lot of historical research, which is more than you can say about DC Comics: Bombshells, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s reinterpretation of Golden Age artwork is hugely impressive and fun, and you can’t knock an issue that gives you Etta Candy riding Wonder Woman like a kanga, can you?
Rating: 5/7 (Artwork: 7/7)
Wonder Woman ’77
Steve Trevor and Diana Prince have to provide security to the US ambassador to Panama as he goes sailing. Unfortunately, as well as discovering he’s a bad guy, it turns out he wants to take control of the Panama Canal using none other than…
Is it any good?
The artwork’s dreadful, the story less so. The former just looks nothing like Lynda Carter and is actually verging on the extremely ugly in places:
It would have been almost acceptable for comic art in the early 90s. These days? Not so much.
Meanwhile, over in the script, nothing too awful happens. It’s pretty standard for a 70s Wonder Woman script, with the extra latitudes afforded by comics allowing Wonder Woman to fly. There are references to the IADC and Steve Trevor’s actually in this one. That’s all fine.
All the same, an important point in the script hinges on Steve, while undercover, not only calling Diana by her real name, but ‘Agent Prince’. Seriously? Has he had a knock on the head or something? It’s not even like he calls her that in the series except when introducing her to someone else.
Then we have Charybdis. In The Odyssey, that was just a whirlpool – Scylla was the monster. I suppose this beastie could be what caused the whirlpool, but why not just use Scylla instead?
But not awful.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 1/7)