Wonder Woman #72 – G. Willow Wilson, Writer; Jesus Merino, Artist; Tom Derenick, Penciller; Scott Hanna, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Deep Into the Labyrinth
Ray: G. Willow Wilson’s fantasy-based run on Diana’s flagship title continues to be a compelling adventure that upends its concept every few issues. The last issue wrapped up the plotline involving the small town that Atlantiades had enthralled but wasted no time pulling Diana’s new ally Maggie into a new adventure. As she entered the shrine that led to the underworld, she encountered a massive minotaur, and soon enough she and Diana were locked in battle. Wonder Woman #72 is an action-heavy issue, much of it taking place in the dark, so I don’t know if it’s quite as compelling as the last few. The art by Jesus Merino and Tom Derenikc is excellent, especially when depicting the monster (who is definitely not as friendly as Ferdinand). The massive titan is strong enough to fend off Wonder Woman, but Maggie’s sword is something else entirely and the characters are only beginning to reveal its power levels. What’s more, it seems to be a beacon pointing to its original owner.
Atlantiades seems to be done as an antagonist but is sticking around as one of Diana’s new allies, and they jump into the fray as the shrine starts collapsing around Diana and Maggie. I didn’t think a brief subplot where the sword gets lost and exposes just how dependent Maggie may have become on it really pushed the plot forward, but things pick up in a big – and weird – way immediately after. Following up the giant minotaur is an army of frog-like monsters that descend on the heroes like a plague. They make for amusingly gross villains, but I was a little surprised that Diana just casually sliced an army of them in half without blinking. This scene is pretty graphic. The issue ends by sending Diana, Maggie, and Atlantiades into their next adventure – a mysterious land called Dimension Chi, where Diana has apparently been before. This issue doesn’t push the story forward as much as some but this band of adventurers is a great team I’d follow anywhere.
Corrina: I’ve been happy to be on-board this examination of the myths surrounding Diana, especially the deep dive into the Greek Gods, and I’ve liked Maggie from the start. But, as was sometimes with the Azzarello-Chiang run, Diana is beginning to feel like a side character in her own comic.
It’s not that she’s not present. She is. It’s not that she’s not powerful. She is. It’s that I can’t see a solid character arc for her through all of this. She’s basically only been focused on one thing, finding the Amazons, and that makes her somewhat one-note, even in all her confrontations with the gods to keep humanity safe. The Atlantiades arc hinted that Diana is struggling with her love for Steve but that didn’t seem to resonate strongly, given how the characters have been established over the past year. (But maybe DC is breaking them up, given Steve’s current status quo in Event Leviathan.)
The artwork succeeds in making the battle with the Minotaur otherworldly, and the monsters are appropriately scary. But given the questions about the sword, and the possible questions about Maggie herself, I’m beginning to wonder if the endgame is finding the Amazons reborn amongst the human population. If Maggie turns out to be Antiope or Hippolyta herself, it would be a worthy twist to this story and make my objections on the focus on Maggie over Diana somewhat moot.
Final note: Wilson tweeted yesterday that she’d “killed” Wonder Woman, so obviously something big is going to happen with this arc down the line, depending on how many issues ahead Wilson is with her scripts.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.