Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman #56

Wonder Woman Sale

Every week (or fortnight) At least once a month, Sometimes, Weekly Wonder Woman keeps you up to date on everything involving DC Comics’ premier superheroine

And we’re back in the room. How did that happen? The last Weekly Wonder Woman was last week, there’s one this week… this would almost imply that Weekly Wonder Woman was weekly. That will never do. I’ll probably have to skip next week’s WWW simply to recover from the shock.

But we’re here now, so let’s have a look at what the past week has brought us in terms of Diana news.

Oh. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Nothing.

Basically, there’s been no news. I think I used it all up last week.

But there have been comics. Let’s talk about them after the jump, although I should probably mention before then that Comixology is doing an 80% off sale on Wonder Woman comics. There’s quite a few decent and important titles in there including:

So grab them while you can.

Comic reviews

This week sees the release of a veritable tome. First up is Volume 2 of Wonder Woman: Earth One. Since that’s a book, rather than a 20-odd page comic, don’t be surprised when I tell you I haven’t read it since it was released yesterday. I’ll give it a whirl next time…  whenever that is. Who knows? Maybe next week?

Also out this week is the far thinner, digital-only Death of Superman, Part 1 #11, in which nu52 Diana and the rest of the nu52 Justice League reminisce about the death of nu52 Superman. She doesn’t do a lot this issue, except carry things around and chat with Shazam in the background.

Death of Superman #11

However, back in issue #9 (look at the way I so smoothly play catch-up), we did have a little stonking huge bit of retcon about the reasons that nu52 Diana and Superman broke up that completely contradict everything stated before.

   

Yeah, that all makes sense and doesn’t read like it was written by a teenager. Still, Rebirth, Doomsday Clock, mumble mumble, continuity in flux, mumble mumble.

There’s more of that in this week’s main issue of note, Wonder Woman #56.

Wonder Woman #56

Wonder Woman #56

In WWW’s absence over the summer, Steve Orlando took over writing duties on Wonder Woman. His run largely saw Wonder Woman joining forces with Artemis (rogue Bana-Mighdall worshipper of the Egyptian gods) and Aztek (initially slightly more sceptical worshipper of the Aztec gods) to fight actual Aztec god Tezcatlipoca in thirteen heavens.

Thirteen Heavens

That resulted in quite a lot of things:

  1. The return of the invisible jet to mainstream Wonder Woman continuity. Apparently, that wasn’t just Scott Snyder being a smart alec.
  2. In an interestingly (literally) multi-dimensional investigation of godhood
  3. The awarding of Artemis with her own magic lasso, ‘The Golden Promise’
  4. The rescue and return of Diana’s aunt, Atalanta, to the (somewhat unwelcoming) Bana-Mighdall
  5. The return of Gail Simone’s impressive take on the Lasso of Truth/’Golden Perfect’ as being something that can see inside your soul

Golden Perfect Soul

I actually rather enjoyed Orlando’s run. Each issue was better written and offered more than the whole of James Robinson’s run. So I’m a little sad to see him go.

BTW, marvel, yet again, at the way I so smoothly play catch-up. It looks so effortless, doesn’t it?

But while we’re waiting for November and the arrival of G Willow Wilson, this week sees a brief interlude as we cross-over with Justice League Dark.

JLD was the Wonder Woman launch of the summer and so far has seen Diana putting together a new magical Justice League to fight whatever oddness is subverting and destroying magic in the DC Universe. Along the way, we’ve learnt that Diana has a magical ability she’s never known about, linked in some way to a mystical symbol that was scribbled on her forehead during a witchy ceremony she observed when she was just a kid.

I wouldn’t say it’s been great so far, but it’s definitely had some good moments.

Wonder Woman #55 dumps a whole bunch of answers about the larger picture into our laps. Borrowing a bit from season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it turns out that magic was originally the sole preserve of the goddess Hekate, that male magicians basically took some of her power for themselves and every magician ever since has been channelling that stolen magic. Now, however, a much darker force from outside the universe has noticed what has been going on and is thinking about making an entrance.

To counter their return, Hekate is doing a Voldermort and recovering the magical power that she stored up in five ‘witch-marked’ girls, one of whom is Diana, in order to fight the invaders. Oh, and turn everyone in the world into her meat puppets in the process.

Issue #55 is basically the story of how we learn all this and writer Justice League Dark writer James Tynion IV actually has some interesting things to say here. He borrows concepts of triple goddess worship and matriarchal society to make Hekate the original triple goddess, the chthonic predecessor of all the other gods, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s read Hesiod, he does a decent enough job on rationalising Greek Hekate-worship.

We also have Diana and the Dark League abducting a unicorn (which obviously doesn’t sit well with Diana, but it was Greg Rucka’s Rebirth idea, so she can blame him) in order to have a gift for the one person who might be able to give them the information they need about Hekate – her evil minion Circe. Yes, Circe’s back, everyone. One of Diana’s pre-eminent and much misused adversaries.

And here again, Tynion does some thoughtful things. As well as making her a bit more nuanced in her attitude, he also finds a cunning way to rationalise the many different appearances of Circe, even within the Rebirth universe.

The Odyssey

Cue plot dump. Anyway, again, another issue that has more of interest and note (and Diana) on each page than James Robinson managed in most his run.

Of course, it all ends with Diana deciding to try with Circe’s help to use Hecate’s power herself to fight the Big Bad, who’s currently blowing up DC’s K’un Lun-equivalent, Nanda Parbat. What could possibly go wrong?

Fingers crossed, Diana gets to keep some of these shiny new powers at the end of all of this.

Writing: 6/7
Artwork: 6/7