Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman #34, Justice League #32

Diana in Justice League

Yes, it’s Weekly Wonder Woman – keeping you up to date on pretty much anything involving DC Comics’ premier superheroine, including what she wore for Halloween

There’s been a slight gap between WWWs. Sorry about that, but work annoyingly got in the way last week. But we’re back, ready to let you know the news and review everything Diana-ish of the past two weeks. Assuming you’ve managed to free yourself from your Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn Halloween costumes – they were the most popular outfits for girls this year.

Movie news

Gosh. What a lot of movie news there’s been, thanks to the imminent arrival of Justice League – aka Wonder Woman 1.5.

Wonder Woman itself (herself?) has now not only become the most successful superhero origins movie ever, it’s also been declared by Rotten Tomatoes to be the best superhero movie of all time. But according to Gal Gadot, Diana’s very first DCEU appearance, Batman v Superman, is about to get retconned, despite only coming out last year:

None of us knew exactly, exactly, what’s the backstory of Wonder Woman. And once they decided to shoot the solo movie, [the] Wonder Woman movie, and we started to dig in and understand the core of the character, we realized that actually there is no way that Wonder Woman will EVER give up on mankind. The reason why she left the island was because she wanted to make their life better and safer. They are her colleagues, so I’m giving you a very honest answer, that it was sometimes, you know, creative processes establish something that is not necessarily the right decision. But then you can always correct it and change it. So Wonder Woman will always be there as far as she [has] concerns for mankind.

Phew. Now we can have Wonder Woman 2 after all.

Back to Justice League, though. We’ve now got

On top of that, there’s this new DC video explaining Wonder Woman’s background in the comics and the movies:

And super-exciting for Londoners! The Justice League experience opened today at The College in Southampton Row, with rooms dedicated to each of the league’s members. Gal Gadot even paid a visit recently.

TV news

Yep, this is a new one. Don’t have TV news much in WWW, do we? But Robert Kirkman – creator of the comics that were the basis of The Walking Dead and Outcast – has a new TV series starting on November 12 on AMC in the US. It’s called Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics and one episode, Wonder Woman, traces our Diana’s story from her early origins to Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter will be on it and everything. Here’s a trailer for you Americans [sorry everyone else].

Comics news

Remember that Mercedes cash-in I told you about? Here’s the Diana one, in which she and the Flash change an old man’s tyre.

A post shared by Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) on

I hope Mercedes think that money was well spent.

However, the most important announcement of the fortnight is that we’re getting another new Wonder Woman comic! Even more importantly, it’s the first ever comic to star just Batman and Wonder Woman, and is appropriately entitled Batman/Wonder Woman. The icing on the cake? Liam Sharp is doing the artwork.

Issue #1 is due out on February. Not long now then and given a whole bunch of people will buy pretty much anything with the Bat logo on it, I’m pretty sure it should sell well.

Comic reviews

Justice League Day #1 came out yesterday, but that’s just a reissue of the nu52 Justice League #1, so you can safely skip it.

After the jump then, a stupid Elseworld invades DC Prime in Justice League #32 and Diana finally meets her brother Jason in Wonder Woman #34. The slight catch? More lies. Oh dear. I thought Greg Rucka was off the title?

Justice League #32

Justice League #32

Plot

Metal Batman (who’s wearing an alternative universe Ares’ helm of war), together with a bunch of his metal mates, invades the DC Prime universe – and goes after Diana!

Metal Batman and Diana

What does Diana do?

Fight Metal Batman. Then get a bit submerged under all the dead Amazons he’s brought with him.

Obols Dead Amazons Too many Amazons

Is it any good?

It’s a bit tedious and tie-in, for people who like the Saw movies basically. While there are some moderately nifty Greek myth ideas going on, attention to detail when it comes to Diana is a bit lacking, with our heroine going for the fight as a first, rather than a last resort, than getting soundly trounced without much fight at all. Also, alternative universe Greece still uses the drachma, not the euro.

Eminently avoidable.

Rating: 2/7 (Artwork: 5/7)

Wonder Woman #34

Wonder Woman #34

Plot

Diana has a natter with her brother Jason about what he’s been up to all her life. Unfortunately, just as the sun goes down, he reveals he’s in league with Grail, and together, they clobber Diana. Worse still, Grail and Jason have plans for her – are they going to try to lure Zeus out with her?

Clobbered

Extra notes

Oh gods. Please, will somebody please just sit down and decide, once and for all, exactly what Diana’s origin is now. Please?

When last we looked, in this glorious new DC Rebirth universe, Greg Rucka had gone back to Marston and Khaniger to establish that Diana was just AN Other Amazon who got given additional superpowers from the gods/patrons. She didn’t appear to have had them before, the gods turned up disguised as animals, and then afterwards, she had powers, which she then had to experiment with to find out what they were capable of. Pretty definitive, it seemed, even if the issue of who Diana’s dad was got cunningly avoided.

That seemed to hold when Shea Fontana briefly took over from Rucka, although she changed other aspects of the set-up. Current author James Robinson then reversed those changes and has now clearly reset Rucka’s origin back to Brian Azzarello’s. More or else. Because even now there are discrepancies.

Now, admittedly, given Jason is seemingly under the influence of Grail and so could be lying, none of this should be taken as gospel, but the rest of the issue seems to reinforce what he says, so we can probably assume it’s supposed to be true. The main point, of course, is that as per Azzarello, both Jason and Diana are the offspring of Zeus and get their powers by virtue of that lineage:

Special powers

The power of the tsunami

Except nu52 Diana got the power of flight from Hermes. And that’s not how tsunamis are created.

Now, you can probably rationalise all of this somehow: maybe Diana got all her powers as gifts, while Jason inherited his; maybe he’s lying about where he got his gifts from or maybe he’s mistaken. But given this is all supposed to be about revealing truths, Grail hunting down the descendants of Zeus because they have his energy inside them and so on, you have to do a lot of narrative engineering to do to arrive at the Rucka origin of Diana still being the correct one.

It doesn’t help that in the same issue, Jason’s origin changes slightly, as it’s revealed that he’s brought to his adopted father in modern times, not Roman times as previously indicated:

Modern times

Roman Jason

Again, given Thermyscira has had time-travelling capabilities in the previous continuities, that’s fixable. Or we could assume Grail’s mum was lying for no well explored reason. But why are we having to fix this? This is all from issues published in the past three years, not from the bowels of some one-off published in 1957 that you need special permission and a Hazmat suit to visit as it’s down in the toxic waste filled basement of DC HQ and defended by a demogorgon. Has DC fired everyone in editorial who’s worked there longer than an hour and could try to impose some kind of continuity?

I’m not asking much. Not every i has to be dotted and t crossed. But it would be nice if the stories all followed on from one another a little, at least, once a writer left a title.

Whinging aside, since this is also the 700th issue of Wonder Woman

Issue 700

…I do wonder if Robinson is dicking with us because he can. We know that he definitely knows continuity quite well, so how much is he playing with us, we must ask.

Most of the issue is Diana and Jason having a good old natter about what they’ve been doing all their lives, with Diana particularly keen to know why Jason’s been hiding as a fisherman the whole time. Jason reveals that he has been helping behind the scenes occasionally, but he was sworn to secrecy by his adopted dad, who became immortal thanks to a herb he used to chew. Which is new for the DC universe, if not myth, and so a possible indication that Jason’s a big fibber.

But a compare and contrast between Jason and Diana reveals that Jason’s glad she didn’t get his nose, while Diana wishes she could have been taller.

Nose and tall

Which is interesting, because as the above alternative cover reveals, Diana did get Jason’s nose back in Superman/Wonder Woman when Tony Daniel was drawing her and she was taller in all manner of previous stories, including Greg Rucka’s in which she’s getting on for 6’3″.

Justice League tall Wonder Woman

Justice League New Frontiers Wonder Woman

6'3"

I mean how much taller does she want to be? So perhaps he’s hinting that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to playing with continuity.

On top of that, he’s really rubbing our faces in it with this line:

Standing right next to me

“Standing right next to me”, you say. Why, I wonder if that’s a reference to anyone we might have met recently? Or is that too obvious?

Other things:

  • Although there was a Basil, who’s responsible for a very important Greek cake, no one in Greece is called Basil or even Basileios, because the old Greek letter beta is now ‘veeta’ and pronounced as a v. The name is now Βασιλης (Vasilis).
  • Although it’s pleasing to see Diana given Jason a thorough pounding, Grail and Jason defeat Diana a little too easily, given Diana has survived underwater without difficulty before and can fly around in space by holding her breath apparently. Maybe that’s a trap on her part?

Diana defeats Jason

See? All this theorising begets nothing but more theorising.

Conclusion

Nice that we started with a flashback rather than a flashforward for a change, possibly a bit too much chatting that might turn out to be a pack of lies and a complete waste of our time, and a couple of good action scenes. Oh yes, Giganta was in it, too. But what was in those relics she was after?

Rating: 5/7 (Artwork: 5/7)