Monday, July 12, 2010

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #600

Book Information

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
So having a subscription to a title has one very positive aspect…it’s a hell of a lot cheaper! And even though price differentiation will always be a deciding factor for me, having a subscription truly can hurt you as a comic book enthusiast. First off, you can get way out of the loop since subscriptions come to you two weeks AFTER they are released in the comic book stores. So I run into problems because my reviews on the two week old titles are pretty much, to quote my fashion crazed middle school girls, “So two weeks ago.” However, I do have an opportunity to lay my opinions down since the whole “new costume” and “lost heritage” debates are still in full force amongst internet fanboys and fangirls. But one question I do believe Wonder Woman fans are forgetting to ask themselves is this, “What is issue #600 trying to do?”

Firstly, let’s take a look at the shout outs and how this Wonder Woman installment brings us through an artistic and literary history lesson that reminds us of why Wonder Woman is the greatest female icon in comics. The team-up of Writer Gail Simone and George Perez was a stroke of genius! Perez has that wonderful silver age touch that makes me feel like I was reading the dusty old comics my mom kept around from her childhood. (Nostalgia at its best I tell you!) But to add that personal human side to this beginning story that Gail Simone always brings to everything she writes was nothing more than perfection. I already knew this issue was going to be ranked up there as one of the best for the month.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, we are given that comedic and light hearted appeal that Amanda Conner brought to the pages of Power Girl for a whole year. I was absolutely thrilled to see her both writing and drawing five pages of #600. I wanted it to continue since Amanda Conner’s art is one of my favorites. But she had already moved on from Power Girl, and I was able to put myself at peace with that, so I had tell myself to be joyful that I got one last glimpse of Conner’s work with my two favorite DC women.

The third part of this story wasn’t as great as the previous ones, but still fun to read. The art was very complex as was the story, but it felt comedic, which in turn felt a little out of place with the context of the story. Leave that to Amanda Conner please, it’s what she’s good at. But other than that, I still got a major kick out of it.

Now what I’m sure all of you are wondering about the most are my thoughts on the new approach to Wonder Woman; she has a new costume, new demeanor, and no memory of her past. And to be honest, after finishing this section of the book, I wasn’t completely sure I liked the idea either. But then again, I have to refer to that question I posed above, what is #600 trying to do? When they changed Superman’s look to a more electrifying stature a few years ago, fans had an uproar; hate mail was sent in and the online discussion forums were completely filled with rambles of dislike and disapproval. That was a time I will never forget. But what was DC trying to do? It’s like Coca-cola. They create a new taste in their soda, everyone hates it, then as time rolls by, they bring back Coca-Cola classic, and made a crap ton of money by doing so. The same applied with Superman; make him less desirable, and fans will crave for what once was to come back. And when Supes returned in his red, blue and yellow spandex, he was even more popular than before.

What the difference here is, Wonder Woman is being given a costume change that resembles that of when she lost her Wonder Woman status back almost a decade ago and the costume most are familiar with. When she lost her status as Wonder Woman, she had lost part of her identity and was fighting through that. In this issue, she is still Wonder Woman, but has forgotten where she came from. The new costume concoction represents two different realities, one of recognizability, and one of loss. Geoff Johns is attempting something new to help boost Wonder Woman into a new era, (which he seems to excel at) one where we can still hold on to what made her great but still get that fresh new start.

That entire last section was very well written and I’m in full support of what this could mean for the Amazon Princess. Geoff Johns is no dumby, let him work his magic and see where it ends up. I suspect after about twelve issues, things might go back to the way we are used too, but don’t think for a second that Wonder Woman is not in for some major future changes. This introduction to the new Wonder Woman era gives us a hint that things could go back to they way they used to be, but as the phantom narrator says, “Diana is far too undervalued by this world. This must change.” Is it possible that DC is trying to give Wonder Woman that respect she is so deserving of? What lies ahead for Wonder Woman in this new interpretive approach? I can’t wait to find out!

In addition, I number of great pin-ups are dispersed throughout this issue, all of which are great. My favorite? The two paged spread by Phil Jimenez. Just go buy this issue, you’ll all love it.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
What can I say? This issue was filled with greatness. I’m usually not a fan of artist toggling, but this worked perfectly since no one story was connected to the other. It is one big homage to a great heroine who’s been an inspiration to human kind for generations. Let’s hope the new era can continue that greatness. I am going to put this down in my “most treasured comics of my life time” bin, which means I’ll need to but a second one.

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10 out of 10
With 2 incentive points.

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