Or – “They Don’t Call It ‘The Odyssey’ For Nothin’…”

On the plus side, the revamped Wonder Woman arc has been better than the hysterical nay-sayers cried that it might have been before they saw it.  (I wonder if there’s a larger lesson there?) 13 issues in, is the story living up to the hype?

WONDER WOMAN #613
Writer(s): J. Michael Scraczynski & Phil Hester
Penciller(s): Don Kramer & Travis Moore
Inker(s): Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong & Drew Geraci
Letter: Travis Lanham
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Cover Artist(s): Lee Garbett, Dave Meikis & Paul Mounts/Alex Garner
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, on Wonder Woman:  It is still not entirely clear what has happened to Princess Diana’s history.  The Amazons have been scattered, her friends changed beyond recognition, and her own destiny altered from within the past itself.  The search for the culprits responsible has led her through a hedge maze of evil, leading her to have to confront the one person anywhere who might be able to oppose her:  Her alternate self. 

Wait, what?

Princess Versus Princess, With The World In The Balance…

As Diana confronts herself in combat, two things become clear:  She is no longer the woman she once was, able to hold her own against Superman in combat.  The other truth is that her opponent IS as powerful as Wonder Woman historically, forcing pantsinated Wonder Woman to fight with her brain…  Don Kramer starts off the issue on pencils, and his combat sequences are quite good, but about halfway through we change-up to a different style, reminding me favorably of recent issues of Fables.  (I think it’s Shawn McManus I’m thinking of, but either way, it’s good looking art.)  Wonder Woman gets beaten from pillar to post by her old-school-bathing-suit-bedecked counterpart, and takes several good shots from her adversary’s sword as well.  Diana tries the old ‘get-the-villain-talking’ routine, and finds out that, while she is clearly battling her own BODY, the mind in control is an entirely different matter.

And The Truth Stands Revealed!

Wonder Woman is mystically shown the vision of the truth, the tale of the day that she confronted the evil Morrigan in an attempt to stop some unusual plan, only to find herself trapped in Morrie’s magical clutches.  Morrigan possesses Wonder Woman, but a small part of her god-created form somehow breaks free, coalescing into the less-powerful but more pantisful version of Diana we’ve seen over the last couple of years.  A quick spell to make people forget that Wonder Woman is missing, and Morrigan was free to kill all the Amazons she wanted without worrying about a JLA intervention.  As she finishes her tale, the villainess raises her sword for a killing blow, finally ready to dispatch Diana completely.  Diana begins to weep, and Morrigan snarls that her worries are over.  “I’m crying for YOU,” replies Diana, and an angry Morrigan impales her on her own sword.  The real Wonder Woman wraps her lasso (symbolic of the strand of their life from the fates blah blah blah) and whispers, “Let’s be Wonder Woman again.”  They merge, just in time for the Morrigan to rebuild her own scorpion-headed self and attack!

The Verdict: It’s A More Elegant Solution Than I Thought…

I think it says something about me as a fanboy that I like this story better as a magical attack than as a time-warping chronofractured adventure.  It feels truer to the essence of the Wonder Woman character, but much like Green Lantern #67 a couple of weeks ago, it feels a little bit rushed.  Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but the drive to get the DCnU in play may have led to these developments being compressed into one issue.  The next issue is the last issue of Wonder Woman V.3, after all.  Still, given the situation, it could have been worse.  The whole “I had to let you kill me so I could stop you” piece of the narrative is a bit shopworn, but the art is good enough and the overall tone of the issue is positive enough to satisfy.  Wonder Woman #613 does what needs to be done to transition Diana from a story where her history has been retconned to a story where EVERYBODY’s history has been retconned, and it does it successfuly, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I kind of wish that this issue had more room to breathe, but given the meandering pace of the previous 12, I can appreciate getting a sense of urgency into the book…

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  Would you prefer Wonder Woman with long pants or without long pants in the DCnU?

 

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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9 Comments

  1. Slappy
    July 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    I like her without the long pants, but preferably the toga that has been used in the past. It makes her a little more feminine and gives a nod to her Greek roots.

  2. July 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    panstinated. heh.

  3. TaZ
    July 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm — Reply

    Apparently, we’re not getting much of ANYTHING that’s “normal” about the DCU after September so wanting anything other than the silver-highlighted, pants-wearing version of the Amazon Princess seems to be a moot point. I’m wondering if we’re going to have a “younger, more energetic and BROODING” Wonder-Woman as well.

    I tell you what, I’m more disappointed with the “brooding, work pants Superman” story-line than I was about the “renouncing US citizenship/Walking” arc that’s finally ending. At least with Wonder Woman there’s been so many changes to her character in recent years that a “relaunch” would not be as drastic albeit there’s been a lot more blood on the preview covers of the once peace-loving Amazon that now seems to have a sword in her hand most of the time. Giving Aquaman the trident – good move. Making Diana another “Red Sonja” – not so much. Of course, this also doesn’t mean I’m ready for them to bring back the Invisible Plane, either.

    It’s sad that in all probability this entire story-line was originally designed to bring attention to the Wonder-Woman comic at the time DC thought that the TV show was a “sho-thang” and bringing in the costume, look, “street-fighter” thingies, etc. At least they got rid of the 1980’s Debbie Gibson jacket.

  4. Ian
    July 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm — Reply

    I like the look from the new JLA art. Red, black, and silver, with long pants.

  5. Obsidian
    July 29, 2011 at 12:30 am — Reply

    I think pants for WW are a LONG overdue update. I liked the Jim Lee design as soon as they lost the jacket.

  6. Brainy Pirate
    July 29, 2011 at 3:05 am — Reply

    I like the pants, but more importantly, I like that fact that they’re not showing her in a french-cut bikini that’s one step away from a g-string. I like the fact that I’m not left to wonder about what kind of woman-icure she has down there.

    As long as the artists don’t draw her as busting out of her bustier, I’ll be happy. Is there not a way to draw women to have beautiful bodies without making the bodies themselves the chief point of the art? Isn’t there a way to draw women so that young female readers can feel that (a) women’s bodies are strong as well as beautiful and that (b) they don’t have to be half-naked to be either powerful or beautiful?

  7. July 29, 2011 at 4:38 am — Reply

    Would you prefer Wonder Woman with long pants or without long pants in the DCnU?

    I must be the only person, female or otherwise, who doesn’t care what Wonder Woman wears so long as she’s written well & still stands for all of the noble concepts she’s supposed to (well, except Marston’s bondage fetish – that can be ditched). Yes, a G-string would be annoying & all too typical, but so long as the character’s written like she’s Wonder Woman and not some empty-headed cosplayer trying to get into character, she could wear lederhosen for all I care. Her outfit should not define her character, dammit.

  8. Luis Dantas
    July 29, 2011 at 5:20 am — Reply

    “Historically”?

    This is Wonder Woman. Byrne and to a lesser extent Perez not withstanding, she is the one whose nemesis typically include non-powered Nazis and freaking Cheetah.

    As for the pants, yes, by all means restore them. Wonder Woman is a princess, an envoy, an ambassador for peace _and_ a warrior. She is supposed to look respectable, not cheesecakey.

    Other than apparently ditching the pants, the one thing I dislike in the new, de-aged Wonder Woman by Jim Lee is the choker.

  9. Kevin Breen
    July 29, 2011 at 9:52 am — Reply

    The choker and the silver edges of the breastplate on Lee’s version look like they would draw blood when she moves. … and I vote for pants

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