Wonder Woman #44 – James Robinson, Writer; Emanuela Lupacchino, Penciller; Ray McCarthy, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 5/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: While Eternity Girl embraces the spirit of Kirby’s concepts with all their bizarre glory, Wonder Woman #44 does the near-impossible – it takes his concepts and makes them small and mundane. This is actually the least aggressively bad issue of Wonder Woman in a while, but that’s faint praise – there very little that’s good here, but there’s also nothing that’s actively insulting to the character. Instead, it’s almost entirely a slugfest, as Darkseid turns into the equivalent of the X-Men’s Juggernaut and makes a move against Themyscira. As the issue opens, Diana is engaged in combat against Darkseid, while Steve and his men are fending off a Parademon invasion and battling Female Furies, and Jason is doing battle against his ex-lover Grail. Darkseid has the dialogue of a stock 80s cartoon villain, while Jason and Grail come off like a generic teenage couple bickering over their failed relationship half the time.
All the while, Darkseid’s minions are assembling artifacts behind the scene, putting together a portal that will allow Darkseid what he wants – a portal to Themyscira. It was Greg Rucka who introduced the concept that Diana couldn’t return to the island because the island didn’t allow those who left it willingly to return. It was the source of some of the best scenes in his run. Here, though, it almost feels like a boss gate in a video game – it’s all about tricking the rules, which allows Grail to get through the gate and invade, as she’s an Amazon but one who never left willingly. She invades, with an army of Parademons backing her, and soon the Amazon front lines are transformed into Parademons as well. That’s a new twist for what Parademons can do, but hey, this run hasn’t really been playing by any logical rules for most of its run. This isn’t the first time Themysrica has been invaded, it won’t be the last, and I doubt this will be one of the more memorable.
Corrina: Perhaps the single worst part of this run is that Jason has been present (or talked about) for the entire time, taking over the spotlight from the title character, and has been given character arc from villain to proto-hero and…IT’S NOT THE LEAST BIT INTERESTING.
It’s entirely possible for a cool new character to usurp a title. That’s frustrating but at least the adventures of that character can be interesting on its own. Not so this comic, where Jason is just THE WORST. (Yes, all caps worst.)
Oh, and look, now Grail is in Themyscira. Leaving Robinson with a chance to write the Amazons too. Sigh.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.