Apparently, there was more filming of Wonder Woman over the weekend on some A-road northwest of London. I know this because it stopped my sister-in-law getting home from her mum’s on time. Can’t tell you what was being filmed, mind – that’s how good I am at news.
In other Wondy news, though, lots of releases in the past two weeks which I’ll review at different levels of sketchiness this week. In DC Bombshells, the Bombshells are lezzing up while fighting the Battle of Britain with the help of Steve Trevor, Wondy and her death horse. But Baroness von Gunther is back and she has a new horse of her own…
In Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year 5, alternative Wondy is having to deal with Bizarro Superman, while in Justice League, both Wondy and Steve Trevor are having to deal with all manner of godly and Amazon challenges.
Vandal Savage (and family) are continuing their attempts at world domination in Superman-Wonder Woman and Superman, while the Kryptonite-fuelled Superman isn’t quite sure whether Wondy is his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend… even if Wondy seems pretty sure.
Over in Teen Titans, Wondy’s having to put up with some young superheroes burgling her flat to steal a stone head, while in The Legend of Wonder Woman, Diana is getting ready to strap on a very familiar outfit to fight the war in Europe. Be braced for another one of my helpful lessons in modern Greek while we’re at it.
And lastly, it’s time for a Very Special Wonder Woman ’77, in which we learn that killing elephants is bad.
All that after the jump. But first, it turns out that The Legend of Wonder Woman now has a trailer. Be warned: as well as spoilers for already published issues, there’s a glimpse or two of issues to come, as well as some synth orchestra music straight out of a low budget smartphone game developed in the former Yugoslavia.
DC Comics: Bombshells #32-33
After fighting the Luftwaffe on their death horse, Wonder Woman and Steve return to Earth, where they beat up an octopus.
Nothing like beating up a cephalopod to get the old juices running, obvs, so the two of them get it on.
With Big Barda kissing and snuggling with girls elsewhere in London, it’s up to Mera to remind Steve that she was Diana’s very first kiss.
Then up pops Baroness von Gunther with a new hairstyle. She’s also traded in her flying death horse for a rainbow death seahorse.
Not to worry, though – the new Justice League has it all under control.
Is it any good?
Well it’s lovely and pro-women and all that, but it’s starting to become absolutely barking. On top of that, remember that scene in Extras with Patrick Stewart?
That’s what these issues are like. Perhaps the dodgiest bit is when Mera basically tries to turn on Steve Trevor by having him imagine two 13-year-old girls making out. Maybe things are different ‘under the sea’, but ew! for up here.
Still, at least Steve and Diana are together properly now, there’s plenty of action (no, not that kind, you dirty lot), and we now have a Justice League.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 4/7)
Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #11
Who’s the Bizarro Superman doing the rounds? No one knows, but Wondy tries to find out by beating people up.
Justice League #48
Diana does a bit of negotiating with Owlman and co…
…and a bit of rescuing of innocent bystanders…
…but then has to deal with the Anti-Monitor. She gives it a go with Superwoman, but they both get hoisted by their own lassos.
Meanwhile, Grail has plans for the increasingly Chris Pine-alike Steve Trevor.
Is it any good?
Stuff happens to enable other, later stuff to happen.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 7/7)
Superman/Wonder Woman #26 + Superman #49
Fresh from hitting Jupiter with a couple of moons, Vandal Savage plans to bring the comet that gave him his power down to Earth to fill him up with even more power. To do that, he combines his own spaceship with the Justice League’s Watchtower and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. So Superman and Wonder Woman do a lot of punching to try to stop him.
Lots of punching works, but the whole Savage HQ falls on top of Superman.
Wondy’s not happy about that.
But with a bit of help from Lois Lane’s kryptonite-powered bodyguard Metallo, she’s going to get him back.
Superman gets free. That makes Diana happy.
Savage’s comet comes to Earth, empowering him and everyone descended from him. That means a great big fight between the Justice League and the super-powered kids is called for.
Metallo offers Superman his kryptonite to help finish off Savage. Metallo dies, but Superman’s going to make the most of his new energy.
Is it any good?
Long gone are the days of Charles Soule and Tony Daniel, when Superman-Wonder Woman had interesting plots, touching character moments and beautiful artwork. Now we’re in a situation where Superman has both better writing and artwork for the Power Couple. That’s not to say Superman is great, since it’s just a great big sci-fi slugfest for the most part, but at least Wonder Woman and Superman are recognisably people with super-powers in it, rather than Super Heroes™.
Of course, it also poses the question of whether Supes has feelings for Lois still…
Rating: SM-WW – 2/7 (Artwork: 3/7); SM – 4/7 (Artwork: 5/7)
Teen Titans #17
Sensing her father somehow, Wonder Girl (aka Cassie Sansmark) heads to London, where she finds a bunch of hyena-man on the rooftops.
In the house below, she finds her dead father’s stone head on mantlepiece.
Then her aunt Cassandra turns up and they leave together in an attempt to bring her father back to life.
That just leaves an angry Wonder Woman wondering why there are Teen Titans in her ‘apartment’ (Diana’s either not naturalised to British English or is speaking ‘Merican to help the teens understand her).
Is it any good?
It’s for kids, basically. But fun all the same and it does feature Wondy. It’s also interesting to see how much all the other DC writers are borrowing from what Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang created in their run, without adding anything at all themselves.
Still, maybe we’ll get Lennox back again, then. And maybe he’ll be written by someone who can do Cockney.
Rating: 4/7 (Artwork: 4/7)
The Legend of Wonder Woman #16-17
Diana goes to Europe as a nurse and discovers that there’s a lot of carnage going on.
But on a night-off, she almost ends up dancing with Steve.
But the Duke of Deception must be stopped, so Diana finally dons her mother’s gifts from the gods and heads off in search of him, disguised as a soldier.
She encounters Allied forces under siege so uses her new speed and strength to protect them.
The Duke of Deception summons reinforcements, and Diana has to make a choice…
Is it any good?
It’s all very good. Finally, we have Diana putting on her costume and leaping into action in a good set piece action scene. We have all manner of 40s fun to enjoy, too. Top marks on those scores and for the marvellous artwork as well.
But… the Greek really isn’t improving. Here’s the Duke of Deception summoning help.
So that’s ‘Exegeiromai kai Olethros!’ Not Greek script for once, so let’s hazard a guess that Irish/Scottish-born Duke meant ‘Εξεγείρομαι και ‘Ολεθρος’. The observant will notice simply through the verb endings that he’s speaking modern Greek rather than ancient Greek or Katharevousa, of course. But what does it mean?
Well, εξεγείρομαι does mean ‘rise up’ so presumably he’s trying to summon Olethros, his master, and that seems to be what’s happening in the next frame. Except… εξεγείρομαι means ‘rise up’ in the sense of rebel or revolt, rather than arise. It’s also the first-person present form of the verb, so literally means ‘I rebel/I am rebelling’.
Moving on, και usually means ‘and’ but can also mean ‘also’, for example, while ‘Ολεθρος is the name of his master, for sure, but since the Duke neither includes a definite article, ο, nor puts ‘Ολεθρος’s name in the vocative form, it would either end up becoming a masculine adjective, ‘ολεθρος, which doesn’t actually exist but would probably mean devastating or ruinous if it did or is simply the nominative stand-alone noun, devastation.
So basically our Duke has said “I rebel… and devastation.”
Hmm. Not exactly Gettysburg is it?
Of course, what he should have said was: “Σηκωθείτε, ‘Ολεθρο!” (simple formal imperative form of σηκώνομαι, meaning to get up, stand up, rise up; vocative form of ‘Ολεθρος, although possibly you might go with ‘Ολεθρε, depending upon how a proper a name you regard it or not). But it’s all a bit late for that now, isn’t it?
Rating: 6/7 (Artwork: 7/7)
Wonder Woman ’77 #16-17
While working with Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman discovers some poached ivory. She travels to ‘Africa’ to discover its source – ‘Orion the Hunter’ – only to discover that one of the local wildlife’s ostensibly greatest protectors is really responsible for the whole trade.
Fortunately, Wonder Woman’s Volume 2 ability to speak to animals is intactus, and she’s able to summon help, while simultaneously kicking arse.
Orion rounded up, it’s time for Diana to turn to camera and warn you, the reader at home, of the dangers of buying ivory.
Is it any good?
Well, it’s not up to the usual standard, for sure, but while its heart is in the right place, it’s so clumsily executed and written that it’s borderline offensive instead.
Now, call me a feckless gambler, but I’m willing to bet huge piles of cash there’s not one reader of Wonder Woman ’77 who’s out buying trinkets made of ivory. I suspect that chances are we’re all epic liberals or bereft of any cash with which to buy ivory.
So this is an issue preaching to the converted, basically, more intended to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about yourself and your liberal credentials and feel bad and all the bad, uncaring people in the world who would dare to disagree with you, than to actually make any kind of difference. Or maybe it’s written by people who genuinely think that the results of people reading this two-part digital comic book story will be a 10% drop in the worldwide ivory trade. I guess there could be people that stupid out there.
Even as a well-intentioned piece of period-agitprop, it’s awkwardly picked up the colonial/neo-colonial attitudes of the 70s. Wonder Woman ’77 hasn’t exactly been stuffed with black characters in its short run so far, and now the first group to arrive en masse are all in ‘Africa’ and almost all corrupt and amoral, giving us a lone white woman telling the natives what they’re doing wrong and what they need to be doing better – shortly after punching a lot of them and blowing them up. It’s not quite Cecil Rhodes, but it’s not as far off as it should be.
More so, the issue can’t even be bothered to be any more specific about location than ‘Africa’. So here’s a map of Africa superimposed with a bunch of other countries, including the US, all at their true sizes.
‘Africa’ really doesn’t narrow it down much, does it?
Now elephants can be found all over Africa:
But if you’re not going to specify which country is the dodgy one with all the corruption and problems, and you can’t be bothered to narrow down location any further than ‘Africa’ – not even ‘central Africa’ – you’re starting to seem like a bunch of people who don’t know much about Africa, but do know it’s a ‘country’ that’s full of bad black people doing things you know are wrong. Why? Because, you know, black people, hey? Is it because they’re starving and poor and need some money? Who knows? Who cares? Anyway, they should stop doing the bad things or else we’ll make them. Probably by punching them.
So heart in the right place, but terrible, terrible writing.
Rating: 1/7 (Artwork: 4/7)
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 next week