Saturday, September 11, 2010

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #602

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Penciller: Don Kramer & Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Jay Leisten, Michael Babinski & Ruy Jose
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Kramer & Babinski with Sinclair

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
So in this issue, Wonder Woman flies in and splits some serious wigs in trying to defend her fellow Amazonian sisters.  JMS brings the fighting Simone style Wonder Woman to the open pages of issue #602 in full force.  But JMS seems to have gone back a few steps and purposefully detracted the work Gail Simone put into Wonder Woman.  Instead of a Wonder Woman, we seem to now have a Wonder Girl.  While most fans have made up there mind about the quality of this change in Diana’s character and what they think of it, my mind is still up in the air.

What isn’t clear to me is Straczynski’s purpose and goal for Wonder Woman.  JMS gives Wonder Woman a look of what’s to come but uses both new and old material to boost her forward.  The new image and costume seem to suggest that Wonder Woman is heading in a new direction, but by trailing back into a much more “girlish” demeanor.  She no longer seems wise, just more inquisitive, much like Gates’ Supergirl; she’s dead set on saving everyone, but is unsure about life in general.  This works for Supergirl, But Wonder Woman is an established adult who always had a much better handle on life than, well, any other superhero in comics.  Now JMS has given her a semblance of a teenaged girl who has more questions than answers and allows that to dictate her mood and maturity level.  While I’m a little disappointed by this literary decision on the part of JMS, the purpose behind this change has yet to be revealed, and I’m willing to give JMS a chance to explain everything in hope that it will make (awesome) sense.

JMS is still retaining some of that attitude we all loved about Wonder Woman pre #600 as she gives the gods (or the voices in her head) a fierce reprimand.  Wonder Woman has always been great at telling the gods when their stupidity is overpowering their intelligence and it’s nice to see that JMS is keeping that aspect of the new Wonder Woman around.

I was very unimpressed by the art this month.  Kramer and Pansica did such an amazing job in August that I was expecting at least an equally entertaining job for #602.  But nothing like that happened.

I did enjoy the moment Diana strip off her jacket to reveal the full extent of her new costume.  I don’t know what it is that fans don’t like about the new costume but I feel it’s appropriate and not out of touch with her character.  But now, seeing what was to behold underneath her leathery covering, it now feels even more in tune with the Amazonian comic book hero.  The starry, armored underwear has been replaced with the black leggings, and her bustier has a much more solid look.  I do questioned the number of straps going from her shoulders down to her elbow, but other than that, the costume itself seems so much more consistent with the modern standard that Wonder Woman has become to fans.

My biggest irk with this book however is with the cover.  No, it’s not because I think it’s poorly drawn or because it looks cartoonish, I find it to be quite artistic in fact.  What irks me about it the most is the unoriginality of it.  How many times have we seen this pose used in comics?  Hmmmmm, let me think…

I understand why, but honestly, do we have to use this bullets and bracelets image every time Wonder Woman goes under some drastic change in her character?

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
This is a conflicting issue, no lie.  JMS certainly has a lot of “Splainin” to do.  Biggest question in my mind…what will stick and when will we see the real Diana come back to us?

Rating: 7.67 out of 10
Writing: 7.5
Art: 7
Themes:  8.5

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