Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #603

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: J, Michael Straczynski
Penciller: Don Kramer, Eduardo Pansica, Allen Goldman
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Kramer & Sinclair

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
The problem with comic books is its 22 page limit.  Once a month we pick up another installment of a storyline that typically falls short of what we’re hoping for due to the limited space writers have to use per book.  The same thing is happening with Wonder Woman in her all new adventures, three issues in.  However, keep in mind that what feels like a waste of time, or an excuse to push the story into too many monthly comics could very well be purposeful lead-in to a very pleasant and satisfying end.

But we don’t have to like it, do we?

It’s clear that Diana is going through a drastic change, which obviously means a journey, or right of passage is in order to successfully enact this new direction for Wonder Woman.  But, in all honesty, Gail Simone gave Wonder Woman that new direction.  Fans were beginning to respect her character again, what does Straczynski hope to accomplish that Simone did not?  It seems we’ve detracted back to when Wonder Woman was a mere child, still trying to figure herself out.  In #603, Diana still has the attitude and edge, but she now seems a little more like Power Girl than Wonder Woman.  (Although, PeeGee is still much feistier.)  I can’t imagine what is hoped to be accomplished by bringing her back to the beginning when she had been doing so well as a woman and not some child running around with her head cut off.

With all of that said, this issue is still enjoyable to read.  Diana, always the leader, leads a band of Amazonian refuges through the desert only to be met by mythological demons of death and dragged into Hell; fighting past a horde of lost souls, some flying Keres’, and a three headed pooch!  Action packed is the best way to describe this story, and leaves you wanting more; especially after our mysterious figure walks towards Diana in the shadows.  (We all know it’s Satan!)

I didn’t actually notice a difference in artistic style until after I read the whole comic.  I somehow skimmed over the fact that two other pencillers were enlisted to finish up this book in Kramer’s absence.  Either way, I guess I wasn’t phased by the change in art at all.  I was even engaged with this issue artistically, more so than usually.  It’s hard to get over Lopresti being gone, but I’m not dying.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
So what do I do with this issue?  It’s got a lot of gusto, but with a sour taste to it.  This doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman, yet I’m enjoying everything transpiring within #603.  It’s a little hard to swallow at times to be honest.  This story is a perfect fit for Princess Diana, but the new direction in Wonder Woman’s life isn’t coming through like it should yet.  A proper balance between the well written story and the development of Wonder Woman’s new character is where the improvement needs to occur.  I give Straczynski props for trying something new, but something does need to happen that helps explain everything going on REALLY soon.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Writing: 7
Art: 8
Themes: 6

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