Wonder Woman #36 – James Robinson, Writer; Carlo Pagulayan, Penciller; Jason Paz, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Corrina: This Is Just Not Wonder Woman
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!
Ray: Another uninspired issue in a struggling run, but at least James Robinson isn’t keeping us hanging for extended periods for plot developments. This run almost runs at lightning speed, with major characters switching back and forth between good and evil in the span of an issue.
When we last left off (a month ago, because Diana only seems to appear in one of every two issues so far), Jason had betrayed Diana for Grail and was attempting to sacrifice her to Darkseid. This issue gives him a lot of opportunities to monologue and explain that his reason for betraying his sister is…nothing, really? He was jealous of her, and felt all alone during his childhood, and resented his mother for abandoning him. Totally sound reasoning for betraying Earth to a dark God. At least Diana gets the opportunity to call him out on this at one point.
But really, this run remains mostly devoid of any dramatic tension.
Darkseid’s rebirth, a plot point running through the end of the New 52 era, is resolved in rapid fashion as Darkseid has grown from baby to child to tween to hulking warrior in the span of three months. And yet he’s still lacking in any sort of real menace this issue as he attempts to destroy Diana. Jack Kirby’s most imposing villain has been reverted to a generic alien conqueror. Jason attempts to pull a face turn in the final pages, but before he can actually do anything, he’s interrupted by a deus ex machina – literally, as Zeus is revealed to be Diana’s lawyer in disguise and shows up to interrupt the fight. I was much more interested by Steve Trevor forming an alliance with Giganta to track down the artifacts, but really, if Wonder Woman isn’t the most interesting part of a Wonder Woman comic, that’s a problem.
Corrina: The good part of this issue? Diana calls Jason out. The bad part? That Jason still has the spotlight. Another bad part: Robinson remembers that Diana has compassion and that she’s also a warrior but the nuances of these aspects of her personality are lost in some not-great dialogue during the fight. I could forgive a lot if the Wonder Woman taking center stage in this book was familiar. But she’s not. She’s half that person and a half…something she shouldn’t be.
I gather the dramatic tension is going to come from how Diana defeats Darkseid. Or if she’ll convince Jason to come back from the dark side. The problem is that the ending indicates that Diana is still going to be a bystander in her own book while Daddy Zeus takes on Darkseid. Oh, fun. Now Zeus will get to take over her comic and we can see some father/son bonding. All I ever wished for in a WW comic! /sarcasm.
Also, I do not care about Jason, whatever side he chooses. He’s just a whiny entitled dudebro.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.