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