Wonder Woman/Conan #4 – Gail Simone, Writer; Aaron Lopresti, Penciller; Matt Ryan, Inker; Wendy Broome, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Drunk Diana?
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Another excellent crossover in DC’s stable continues to unfold, as Conan and the amnesiac Wonder Woman travel around the ancient world, as the secrets of their childhood relationship are slowly revealed. The opening flashback shows Conan deciding to follow Diana after she chooses to leave the camp, and while she’s initially skeptical of her new companion, they continue to bond. In the present day (well, as present as it gets), the duo escape their current predicament on driftwood and find their way to a humble fishing village. Conan tutors Diana in the art of petty thievery, and they make their way to a tavern where they encounter both a kind barmaid and a rude and possessive drunk. The trope of the drunk sexist is an old one, but this guy is so over the top it’s almost funny. Gail takes a cliched villain to the point of hilarious absurdity.
Drunk Diana makes for an amusing early subplot to the issue, and this at first seems like the lightest issue of the series. However, real threats still lurk in the background. The Corvidae, the shape-shifting sorceresses that have been bedeviling our heroes since the start, contact the sadistic Dellos, the slavemaster who initially captured Conan and Diana, and engage him in a sadistic plot to drive Conan over the edge. Meanwhile, they worm their way inside Diana’s mind and manipulate her with the image of her mother, seeking to turn her against Conan. It doesn’t seem to have worked – yet – and after a bar brawl and a hasty exit, we get a flashback to how the duo was first parted – for what seemed like forever. Gail was always a great Wonder Woman writer, but her talent here with the world of Conan is what really stands out in this series.
Corrina: I finished this book with two thoughts. One, why isn’t Simone writing a regular Conan book (which is the same thought I had last month? And, two, while I thought eventually Conan would make it to Diana’s Earth, it’s become clear this crossover will stay in Conan’s world. That’s not a bad thing but it does make me long for a sequel with Conan being on Diana’s turf.
As for this issue, initially, I thought Diana being drunk didn’t suit the character but given how she’s been somewhat depowered and her memory tampered with, it makes sense she had no idea drink would affect her this way, and it allowed another side of Diana to come forward as well.
The flashbacks continue to be excellent, though I remain unconvinced this is Diana’s younger self, if only because it seems too obvious. I hope we’ll have that answer soon. It’s a measure of how well-drawn the duo’s relationship has been in the present that I sucked in a breath at the thought of them betraying each other. Given what’s going on in the regular Wonder Woman title, I would advise WW fans to drop that title for now and read this one.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.