Sensational Wonder Woman Special #1 – Paula Sevenbergen, Scott Kolins, Stephanie Phillips, Writers; Paul Pelletier/Norm Rapmund, Scott Kolins, Alitha Martinez/Dexter Vines/Vicente Cifuentes, Artists; Adriano Lucas, Wendy Broome/Carrie Strachan, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: While most of the big anthologies for DC heroes usually have between eight and ten stories, this one only has three—elite creators taking their own turn on a stand-alone WW story. So how do these turn out?
First up are Paula Sevenbergen and Paul Pelletier on “Hell Hath No Flurry,” which focuses on Diana facing off against the ruthless Blue Snowman. This frost-themed supervillain likes to unleash chemical snowstorms on cities as a way to lay claim to their father’s past glory as a scientist, and this story does a good job of getting across the scale of the threat. More interesting is the story of Will, a young child who comes dressed as Wonder Woman to his school’s superhero day—and promptly gets bullied and assaulted for dressing as a girl by a pint-sized bully. When their school day is interrupted by the attack, Will finds his inner hero and the bully learns some valuable and hard lessons. While the story is a little routine, the segments with Will and Wonder Woman towards the end—which hint that Will is on a journey of self-discovery—is genuinely touching. I think this story could mean a lot to people.
Scott Kolins, one of the most iconic DC artists of all time, goes solo on “The Thrann of Doom,” a story set on Themyscira during Diana’s return to the island. At least, that’s how it starts—while Diana and Philippus are having a friendly duel, the island’s Oracle has a horrible vision of a dark and nightmarish enemy coming. Doctor Fate soon picks up on the same vision and shows up to recruit Diana to face the threat—which turns out to be a massive kaiju with ties to an ancient peril from space. The story here is a little obscure and there’s a lot of exposition, but what it works at is spectacular visuals. Kolins is one of the best artists in the business, and few people draw monsters like he does. It doesn’t really seem to have any themes in common with the first story, so it’s an odd fit, but I enjoyed it.
Finally, we’ve got a double-sized story by Stephanie Phillips and Alitha Martinez in “Swapped.” Two high school girls, Devyn and Abi, are on a school trip to the Hall of Justice when Wonder Woman crashes through the roof in battle with Circe. Magic ensues, and the next thing anyone knows, shy teenager Devyn finds herself body-swapped with Diana. With the more enthusiastic Abi (who looks distractingly like Cassie Sandsmark) and the powerless Diana supporting her, Devyn has to undertake a crash course in being Wonder Woman to defeat Circe and get their bodies back. While Devyn finds her inner hero a little too easily, Diana proceeds to bumble her way through high school (including a hilarious segment involving a high-intensity game of dodgeball). It’s all very inspired by Freaky Friday, but Phillips is clearly having a lot of fun writing it. It’s easily the best of the three stories, and I kind of hope these two girls show up again.
Overall, all three stories are quality, but the book gets better as it moves along.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.