Wonder Woman/Conan #6 – Gail Simone, Writer; Aaron Lopresti, Penciller; Matt Ryan, Inker; Wendy Broome, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Great Conclusion
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As Wonder Woman/Conan, one of the best crossovers out of DC in recent years comes to a close, as all the questions we had about Conan and Diana’s past are finally answered in Wonder Woman/Conan #6. The issue crosses time and space and leaves us with a far more melancholy feeling than I would expect out of a corporate crossover. That’s to the credit of Gail Simone, one of the defining Wonder Woman writers and apparently also an exceptional Conan writer. Maybe she should be at the top of Marvel’s list for their eventual Conan series? The end of the last issue saw Diana finally being rescued by the Amazons but leaving her lasso behind to help Conan. It also raised the question of whether Wonder Woman actually was Conan’s beloved “Yanna”, as the mysterious Corvidae produced a second woman who they said was Conan’s lost love and set him against Diana.
As this issue starts, Conan is up against the wall, and the city of gladiators and slaves is facing total destruction at the hands of the sadistic sorceresses. Diana is safe on Paradise Island again, but her conscience won’t let her led the situation rest. Gail, as always, writes a pitch-perfect Amazon society, from Hippolyta’s compassion to the fellow Amazons’ less rule-bound attitudes. The final battle this issue almost takes a backseat to the more character-driven material, but that’s fine – there are a few great moments, such as a former dirtbag of a character getting some dramatic redemption at the last possible moment. The truth about Yanna feels almost…anti-climatic, but it makes sense, and the connection between Diana and Conan remains. The ending is a nice twist, and this series’ final goodbye takes on more meaning when you consider – the odds are these characters genuinely never will meet again, because Conan is going from being a Dark Horse property to a Disney/Marvel one, and Marvel doesn’t do crossovers. But if we only got one story with these two, this is the one I would want.
Corrina: If I were a lesser friend to Ray, I might point out that I called it with Yanna being a different person than Diana. But, hey, I won’t do that. Well, not much. 🙂 I loved that she turned out to have a life of her own and that Conan accepted it.
But, more important than Yanna’s anticlimactic fate, this crossover has been my favorite Conan story in forever. It’s also a fine Wonder Woman tale but given it’s set in Conan’s world, the bulk of the storytelling tips slightly in his direction. The first issue I ever read of Conan the Barbarian featured the death of his pirate lover, Belit. (Not a fridging, as she went after something that was cursed after being warned–she was too greedy and it was her downfall.) That, too, was a fight against impossible odds, though this one ended much better, especially for the people menaced in the city. But it was Conan’s melancholy after losing something precious to him in that long-ago issue that was similar to the end of this story. Yanna is saved, but not for Conan. Diana returns to help him, but not for long. He’s the wanderer and so his story continues, as it ever has. (Until King Conan, of course.)
It’s a hallmark of Simone’s writing that she provides a character arc to the supporting character who initially pulled Conan into this mess via his gambling problem. It’s those extra touches that round out the story and make it memorable.
The ending is bittersweet and while there may never be another crossover, if there was, it seems to indicate it would take place in Diana’s world. Make it happen, Disney/Marvel!
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.