Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 3 – Grant Morrison, Writer; Yanick Paquette, Artist; Nathan Fairbairn, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: Grant Morrison may be bringing down the curtain on his time at DC this week, with the conclusion of his last two projects arriving on the same day. But while his take on Green Lantern was a fabulously meta story that looked at Hal Jordan’s role in the DCU on multiple levels, the conclusion to this Wonder Woman OGN series is a very different story—and one that I don’t think connects nearly as well as he was hoping. Maybe the biggest weakness is the time gap—it’s been over two years since the last volume, meaning that the rather complicated narrative is hard to jump back into.
Making it even more challenging, this is far and away the most ambitious of the series format-wise. From the start, you’re thrown into a new timeline—one where Themyscira (or Amazonia, as it’s often referred to) has conquered the world and created a new world government of peace and prosperity—one only opposed by a small group of angry men spouting lines from MRA talking points. Morrison has always taken a very topical approach with this series, but never more than in this volume where lines seem directly inspired by events that happened since the last volume—making it feel inconsistent with the past volumes at times.
At 108 pages of story, there is a lot of plot in this book, and most of it centers around the final war between Themyscira and “Man’s World” that leads to the new future status quo. The President, kept off-screen, seems like a Trump-esque figure who is being led around by the nose by Maxwell Lord—who is secretly Ares and is using the government to carry out an old agenda. Pro-Amazon protestors are beaten in the streets, Steve Trevor is facing treason charges for his alliance with Diana, and a fleet of remote-controlled killer robots are on their way to Themyscira to raze things to the ground.
Hippolyta, who died at the end of the last volume at the hands of the now-repentant Paula Von Gunther, is still being mourned and Diana is struggling to fit into her new role as Queen. The Amazon ranks are pretty full, featuring characters like Troia, Artemis, and Mala as supporting characters who rarely get much attention. Artemis in particular seems set up as a rival to Diana in a subplot that gets some great action scenes and is then quickly dropped. There’s a new threat, twist, or other wrinkle lurking around every corner, and at times it seems like nothing in this story gets to breathe properly.
The politics of this book are likely to be what everyone is talking about, and I’m sure we’ll see some screenshots of key panels from the last act on certain sites in the future. The issue is, Morrison’s take on these issues is so overly broad that it’s hard to know what he’s actually advocating. The villains are so broad as to feel like Mark Russell characters (especially Lord’s henchmen), but don’t have the overt comedy of Russell’s best work. The book is full of lines that read like feminist strawman parody, but it’s impossible to tell whether it’s an earnest endorsement, a parody of these fears, or both.
Certainly better than the fatally flawed Superman: Earth One series, but lacking the feel of a bold new universe that the Batman or Green Lantern books had, Wonder Woman: Earth One is ultimately little more than a strange Grant Morrison musing on just how odd Wonder Woman’s long comic book history is. It’s an interesting curiosity, and by far the most unique and bizarre of the Earth One books, but Wonder Woman has been reinvented for the modern day several times in the almost half-decade since this series started, and this version doesn’t feel like it’ll stand the test of time due to some very odd choices.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.