Wonder Woman #41 cover

Review – Wonder Woman #41: Not an Improvement

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Wonder Woman #41 variant cover
If only the pages inside were as good as the cover. Image via DC Comics

Wonder Woman #41 – James Robinson, Writer; Stephen Segovia, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 5/10

Corrina: Not Diana

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Ray: Wonder Woman #41 is a mostly inoffensive and forgettable issue compared to the last few, but when that’s the best that can be said, this is a book in serious trouble. It still doesn’t feel much like a Wonder Woman comic, more like a collection of random plots that Wonder Woman factors into. The plot starts in the Amazon, where Darkseid reigns over an ancient temple and torments the Female Furies who have returned without the artifacts he’s seeking. Robinson captures Darkseid’s ruthlessness, to be sure, but not his majesty – as he taunts minions with his Omega Beams and kills random mooks who mildly displease him, he could be any random villain. The Darkseid Special from the recent Kirby tributes did a much better job reminding us of why he should be feared. Meanwhile, a lot of the issue is devoted to a conversation between Diana and Steve, as they reunite after a particularly hard day.

I’m a pretty big fan of the Diana/Steve relationship, especially after Rucka established just how well they work together. However, this issue their interaction feels almost…peevish. Like Steve is determined to get Diana to open up and she doesn’t really seem interested. They talk about a trio of new supervillains that Diana faced that day, all women armed with mysterious new technology. Diana, in particular, doesn’t seem to want to talk about the recent death of Zeus, and what it means for her and Jason. Oh, but we do get to hear her express concern for Jason’s disappearance and poor life choices because that’s a relationship Robinson wants to make sure we remember exists. There’s a showdown with Veronica Cale that sort of sets things back for them, forgetting the ending of the Rucka run, and then Jason returns at the end, because, of course, he does. This issue lacks anything offensive, but also anything to really grab the attention.

Wonder Woman #41 page 6
Darkseid disposes of the help. Image via DC Comics

Corrina: I can forgive so much in a story, especially in something as cyclical as superhero comics.

But having no handle or proper take on the main character is one of those unforgivable writing sins that I can’t look past. And that’s what has happened this run and, in particular, this issue with Diana.

That, in many ways, makes this the worst of Robinson’s stories. Why does Diana basically shrug off the people harmed by the attacks on her? She gets mad at Veronica Cale but she should be furious that people are being hurt and used by Cale to get to her. But, hey, eh, sorry about those serious/critical injuries people who attacked. No big.

The conversation with Steve doubles down on this baffling take regarding Diana. Truth is important to her. She’s not one to repress her emotions. Telling Steve it’s hard to explain to him because the gods are so real to her and she knows that’s hard to understand might work but this putting him off because she doesn’t want to face anything is not who or what she is. (Liam Sharp had a much better scene with Diana and Steve in last week’s The Brave and the Bold: Batman/Wonder Woman.)

Maybe the problem hasn’t been Jason. Maybe the problem has been that as bad as Jason is (AND HE’S BACK AGAIN! ARGH) his presence covers the essential problem of this run: Robinson doesn’t understand Wonder Woman.

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3 thoughts on “Review – Wonder Woman #41: Not an Improvement

  1. Robinson has a long history of taking obscure or under-served characters and making them interesting and complex.

    In this case, he’s written an unnecessary GaryStu character into a comic with a not-obscure though still under-served character, failed completely to research or GRASP her character and story, and then done what I’ve come to call a “Brit Job” of writing, though not nearly so deconstructionist and filled with self-loathing as the usual versions of that process that we’ve seen from others.

    They could have done amazing things with this if he’d tied it into the story of how the 52 universe and several others have been lies forged by someone with more power than wisdom trying to “fix” things … and if he HAD to bring in Jason for whatever reason? FINE, do a good job of it, and for all that’s fiduciary, TIE IN TO THE MOVIE THEMATICALLY.

    They wasted it utterly. That’s an editorial failure that should be causing firings, starting with Didio.

  2. I thought editorial should have had firings when they gave the book to Meredith and David Finch, who then proceeded to write the worst WW in recent memory. Until this. (It’s baffling because as you can see in his Superman fill-in, Robinson is still a good writer.)

    I’ll note that Eddie Berganza had control of the WW comic when the Finches wrote the book. And he probably was the guy who hired Robinson. But I also have to note that Geoff Johns created Grail and Jason, so I suspect Robinson was told to put in Darkseid, Jason and Grail.

    1. Johns. Of course. Not a Brit Job writer, because he’s 1000% USA … but he’s also learned from the worst in the business in terms of bad decisions.

      But then the editorial screwups involved in this do make more sense, because Grail and Jason are definitely Johns’ Gary-Stu-age. So I can’t completely blame Robinson.

      Just partially.

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