Wonder Woman #41 – James Robinson, Writer; Stephen Segovia, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
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.
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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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.