Wonder Woman #766 – Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Steve Pugh, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Mariko Tamaki has gotten a lot of good mileage out of the unlikely partnership between Wonder Woman and Max Lord, but the stakes have rarely been this high. With Diana blinded by Count Vertigo’s new powers at the end of last issue (a plot that’s been done before, in Greg Rucka’s run), she’s forced to rely on Max’s guidance in the middle of a war zone as she gets her bearings. A flashback to her Amazon training makes clear that Diana will adapt quickly, as she has experience in fighting blind, but the early segments where she’s alone with an enemy and her vision is fluctuating in strange and surreal ways, are genuinely creepy. Fans of the movie will see shades of the famous “No Man’s Land” scene as Diana battles her way through an oncoming army of Count Vertigo’s soldiers, but I like that Tamaki shows Diana understands these foot soldiers aren’t truly her enemy even in the heat of battle.
Vertigo has rarely been this powerful, but he’s still a mostly one-note villain—a cackling megalomaniac who mostly torments Green Arrow and feels outclassed here. He’s one good kick away from being essentially useless, and I’d still trust a blind Wonder Woman against him any day. But he’s not the main threat in this issue, as we’ve been trying to answer one question since the start of this run. Can Max Lord be trusted? I think we all knew that he couldn’t be, but the turn at the end of the issue feels a little abrupt. A lot happens in the last few pages, and we get a dramatic twist that sets up a tense next act of Tamaki’s run. By eschewing Diana’s mythological roots for the most part and paying tribute to her old-school run as a super-spy, Tamaki has given the title a breath of fresh air. I’m not sure every issue lands perfectly, but it’s building into something very compelling.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.