Empowered as the God of War, Diana must find a way to overcome a mysterious sickness plaguing the Olympians. Of course, the old War God might have a thing or two to say about it… Your Major Spoilers review of Wonder Woman #50 awaits!
WONDER WOMAN #50
Writer: Meredith Finch
Penciler: David Finch and Johnny Desjardins/Miguel Mendonca
Inker: Scott Hanna/Sandu Florea
Colorist: Brad Anderson/Stephen Downer
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mike Cotton
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Previously in Wonder Woman: To save the lives of her father’s people (who don’t particularly like her, it must be said), Diana has journeyed to find the fables Orbs Of Hera and return them to Hecate in exchange for a cure for the strange malady that has befallen Olympus and its ruler, Zeke…
I’m a little bit bemused at the fact that the ruler of the gods is called Zeke.
WAIT, WHERE’S THE BUTT-UGLY ARMOR?
Having missed an issue or ten, I was somewhat happy to see that Wonder Woman isn’t wearing the high-boots black and white armor that debuted a few months ago, and is instead in her New 52 black-red-and-silver togs, with the choker necklace that could slice her jugular if she so much as flips her hair. The issue opens in a very confusing manner for me, as we see Wonder Woman awaken in an unknown place, with REAMS of dialogue explaining the story so far, before immediately cutting back to how she got here for one page, then back to the present. Given how short the flashback was, and how recently it had to have occurred, there’s no reason why these three pages couldn’t have been presented in order. Diana’s internal monologue continues as she discovers that she has fallen into the realm of Hephaestus, where his enslaved Cyclopes confront her and…
…offer a drink of water. The story really hammers home the context of the Cyclopes unjust enslavement, with the H-man abusive to them, and one Cyclops falling to his knees with a tear in his eye, lamenting his status as a monster. Diana’s quest continues, with an asterisk next to the plight of the “monsters” to come back for, encountering Ares himself, who intends to keep her from her goal and retake his place as Goddawar.
ART WITHOUT MUCH CONTEXT
There’s a nicely drawn dragon in this issue, and some fighty-fighty that is interesting, but David Finch’s inconsistencies in drawing facial features repeatedly makes Diana look completely different from page to page, and the use of establishing shots and backgrounds is limited. Wonder Woman’s battle with Ares takes place mostly in a cave, with light streaming in from above, but the delineation of the space is really awkward, and the reveal that Typhoeus, the king of monsters, is also in the cave with them is nonsensical spatially, given the way the art is presented. Still, the storytelling in the art is much more confident and successful than the wordy anvil-dropping of the script, with every character explicitly stating who they are and what they’re going to do, then doing it and telling us that they’re doing it, a far cry from the subtleties of early issues of this book. There’s a backup story featuring Donna Troy in this issue that is much more successful in terms of the art, but just as awkward from a story perspective, making it feel like it was included to boost page count rather than because the story needed telling.
THE BOTTOM LINE: TALKY AND UNENGAGING
In short, it’s a disappointing issue from both the art and story perspective, with too much explanation and explication in the scripting and not enough in the pictures on the page. While I am happy to see this costume return (it’s the best of the post-Flashpoint looks Diana has sported), the ridiculous wrist-blades are still here, and the appearances of her magic sword make it look 18 issues long thanks to improper perspective in the panels. All in all, Wonder Woman #50 doesn’t hit the mark for much other than some decent coloring and lighting effects, with a leaden scripted, overloaded word balloons and underdeveloped art, leaving our Amazing Amazon with a disappointing 2 out of 5 stars overall. I am happy to see some of the developments we see in this issue, but just not particularly interested in taking the loquacious journey that got us to them…