Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #40

Book Information
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan

Wonder Woman saves Earth from supernatural monster yet again, this time in the subway station where a serpent god named Quetzlotl hungers for human meat.  As the Amazonian Princess subdues the beats and sends it back to its celestial homestead, the creature warns Diana of an oncoming, yet unknown threat to humanity that compelled it to hunt for human flesh. 

Following the life threatening subway crisis, a series of sinister events occur including a burning building, an innocent by standard shooting himself in the head, and Power Girl shockingly attacking Wonder Woman.  Meanwhile, looming in the darkness is a strange quintet of young boys that can do nothing but smile with joy at the entire situation.

My Thoughts
This is without a doubt one of the best issue of Wonder Woman to come out in almost two years.  This issue contained everything I enjoy in a story…murder, demonic creatures, and a twisted, gothic undertone where there’s no happiness in sight!  Even amongst the evil that is surrounding this issue however, there is still that shimmering positive light that illuminates the Wonder Woman reputation as the friendship between Etta Candy and Diana is rekindled, along with some newly revealed and interesting secrets.  It was great too see Diana coming back to see Etta after the long hiatus from fighting beasties and demons.

The newest, and arguably the creepiest installments to DC’s list of villains I can only assume at this point to be the sons of the God of War, Ares, and the recently departed Amazonian warriors, calling themselves The Crows.  They have the semblance of those terrifying kids from Children of the Dammed, which is no new approach to gothic story telling as demonic kids have been a common literary and plot device since before my parents were born.  But these children have a mission, unknown of course, which they seem to enjoy every twist and turn that their antics take.  When it comes to horror stories, I’m very picky about what I accept into my film or literary collections.  This is twisted and evil, yet intelligent enough to gracefully accept into my comic book long box.

One of Simone’s strongest aspects is her narrative approach with Wonder Woman.  Far too often we get comics that are mainly pretty pictures, followed loosely by minimal dialogue.  The Wonder Woman team of Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti is perfect as we get amazing literature coming from every page as well as gorgeous and innovative artwork.  I’m mostly impressed by the subtle way Simone is turning everyone against Wonder Woman through her new villain vessels, the five demon children.  There’s a lot of truth in the statement made by one of the kids, “Shocking how people turn on their heroes these days.”  I’m wondering if this arc will have a small bit of commentary on how easily swayed people are when rhetoric and fear come into play.

Lopresti holds nothing back with his attention to detail.  From the crinkle in the Wonder Woman boots as she walks, to the exploding rubble coming from Diana as she pummels through the different layers of a parking garage.  Amongst the incredible detail, Lopresti has certainly had a grasp on what Wonder Woman looks like since he first came aboard on this title.  The last page is absolutely stunning, with her gorgeous shimmering black hair flowing in the wind, her eloquently chiseled abs and torso, her perfectly sculpted legs and arms, and her superbly Greek goddess-like face, Lopresti continually shows that a female super hero can portray a sense of respect, strength and beauty

You can’t go wrong by picking up this issue.  It brings in that popular Wonder Woman feel while bringing in some new, horrific storytelling aspects.  I’m surprised to see that this story arc will only span out for two issues though.  These evil children and the doubt building up within Wonder Woman’s fans has the potential of of being one of the better Wonder Woman story arcs to ever exist.

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February 24th, 2010
It's a knock-down, drag-out war in the sky between the mightiest females in the DC Universe as Wonder Woman fights Power Girl! Meanwhile, that disturbingly creepy circle of hellion kids known as the Crows do everything they can to destroy Diana's life and loved ones!

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