Or – “Make A Hawk A Dove, End A War With Love, Make A Lah Farnah FOO!”

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Sorry, I was never really clear on what that last lyric was.  For months now, Gail Simone has seemingly been building up to something epic with her work on Wonder Woman, and it seems that we’re finally going to get a glimpse of what it is.  Last issue, yet another strange creature arrived to challenge the Amazing Amazon, but this time, the story ends differently…

WW2.jpgPreviously, on Wonder Woman: Princess Diana of Themiscyra has had a rough couple of years.  Though she has finally found a man worthy of her time and energy, (Steve Trevor, eat your heart out) she has had her soul stolen, fought her away across dimensions of insanity, interacting with all of DC’s old sword and sorcery properties, has seemingly forsaken her patron deities for new dudes, seen her people brought to the brink of destruction, fought giant albino Nazi apes, and pretty much had the snot beat out of her repeatedly, suffering insults personal, physical, spiritual and professional…

Insult?  Get ready to meet injury.

And by injury, I mean a catastrophic beating the likes of which she’s never seen.  We actually open with Wonder Girl and Donna Troy leaping into action, having seen the battle between Wonder Woman and Genocide last issue, and both former sidekicks are worried for their Amazon sister.  Wonder Girl nearly breaks down in tears, but Donna reminds her who they are with a little tough-love.  “An Amazon grieves after her duty is done.”  She tells Cassie to meet her at the battle site, and that no outsiders are allowed, no Titans, no League.  Nobody who isn’t herself an Amazon.  Back in Washington, Nemesis tries to free Diana from where Genocide hung her, half-dead in the wreckage, wrapped in rebar and covered in her own blood.  Wonder Woman murmurs that the creature has stolen her lasso, and tries to tell Nemesis the most horrible part of it all…  “That thing beat me…  It beat me as a warrior.”

Elsewhere, the lost deities of Olympus have gathered (wearing purple and gold jumpsuits, for some reason) to watch Athena, goddess of wisdom, wilting away to nothing.  She explains to Zeus that she has lived past her time of usefulness, that she doesn’t want his assistance.  She wants him to help her Amazon daughters in their mission of peace.  Back in Gotham City, Genocide finds her way to the headquarters of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, ordering T.O. Morrow to take the lasso and “make it part of me.”  That sounds ominous.  At his perch on Mount Olympus, Zeus uses his powers to awaken the memories of the lost Amazons, sprinkled around the world after the events of Amazons attacks, while Wonder Girls past and present arrive to find Diana as beaten as she’s ever been.  Donna prepares to take her to Paradise Island, but Nemesis isn’t having it.  He reminds them that, as Diana’s consort, he too is an Amazon, and rides along.

After a quick moment in the clutches of the Crime Doctor, Genocide returns to action, busting up Diana’s civilian friends at the Department of Metahuman Affairs, killing, maiming, and destroying just for fun.  She is confronted by the Justice League (or, at least a few of them) and easily defeats John Stewart (!) in combat.  She turns, and the Leaguers are horrified to see that the magic lasso has been threaded into her very skin, wrapped around her bones in a horrifying display of butchery.  She takes out Firestorm, rips off Red Tornado’s head, while Wonder Woman can do nothing but watch in horror.  She murmurs that she hasn’t told them all, and Nemesis wonders what the secret is.  “What the lasso is truly capable of, Tom.”  Diana orders the Wonder Girls to reverse course.  The issue ends with Zeus confronting Queen Hyppolyta, the last soul on Themiscyra, with an offer: the peace of the grave.

This issue really brought the pain, in more ways that one.  Store Manager Deon (Gatekeeper Hobbies, Huntoon and Gage, Topeka!  Ask ’em about our “Warrior” magazines with the first appearance of Marvelman!”) opined that this is the best Wonder Woman issue in a very long time, and he’s not far off.  The battle last issue was brutal, and the aftermath was awful to see.  Genocide, so far, reminds me a bit of Doomsday 15 years ago, but with somewhat more depth and motivation, and I’m wondering what it is that the lasso of truth really does…  This issue skirts the difficult line of how to show peril to a character who is essentially as powerful as Superman himself, and really allows writer Gail Simone to delineate the difference between that character and this one.  Wonder Woman #27 is well-drawn, well-written, and claustrophobically suspenseful, and earns a nicely done 4 of 5 stars. This book has been back and forth in my subjective quality rankings for a while now, but if this story continues at this level, I think we’ve finally come to the point where Gail puts Diana’s solo series back on the map…

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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3 Comments

  1. Craig M.
    January 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm — Reply

    I believe that lyric is “make liar tell the truth”, but yeah it is hard to understand.

  2. Ricco
    January 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    You left out the most disturbing part of the comic, Director Steel ordering everyone in the DMA to fight to death or be shot if trying to evacuate and shooting an agent for calling the League for help, calling him an Amazon collaborator…

    Dude’s gone insane, the progression was fairly obvious but things came to a boil in explosive fashion.

  3. January 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm — Reply

    Yeah, Sarge kinda popped his cork in this issue…

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