Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #604

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Penciller: Don Kramer & Eduardo Pansica
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Kramer with Sinclair
Editor: Brian Cunningham

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
So into the fire we go!  Could it be?  Did a hint of Alan Moore seep into the pages of WW #604?  I could have sworn I saw good ol’ terrorist “V” standing, screaming for redemption amongst the flames of magical irony!  But of course, this isn’t so and V never makes a guest appearance. Diana comes face to face with a burned up colonel who serves a higher, and unknown master.  But just as Wonder Woman finds herself in the palm of death’s firm and ashy grip, a surprise guest makes her way onto the fiery, desert stage in fine style!  Now Diana stands in front of her first adventure in this new era with her head held high while her butt cheeks fight off that drastic blue pants wedgy!  But the question still remains…What does it all mean?

Don’t worry folks, you aren’t going crazy, this arc really HASN’T made Wonder Woman worth much these past few months.  Sure, it’s fun to see Diana being pushed in a new direction, and I really am enjoying this arc, but I don’t see what purpose this new reality is serving in the Earth Prime universe. 

And that could be it right?  Maybe JMS is so “gun-ho” with his very successful Superman: Earth One graphic novel that he couldn’t help but give Wonder Woman the very same treatment.  All the characters are the same, yet very different.  The story feels so disconnected from the DCU that I can’t imagine how this is going to make sense in the end.

Now it does not mean this individual issue is bad by any means. The story itself is still actually quite interesting despite Mr. Scared and Seared’s exceptionally boring back story.  (question, is he an alternate version of old lover-boy, namely Steve Trevor?)  I guess I’m just a sucker when it comes to battle sequences where the hero is challenged beyond what they handle, only to find themselves with a newly discovered ability to transcend their fears and anxieties.

There’s still this feeling of “newness” though that hinders Wonder Woman from becoming the hero Gail Simone made her out to be, which is a very depressing aspect to the WW world of JMS.  Wonder Woman seems more like a black haired, blue legging, multiple shoulder straps wearing Kryptonian Supergirl who’s still trying to figure out life through a series of trials and tribulations. But most confusing for me is how Diana seems to remember and not remember her life and experiences.  Why this is, I don’t know.  Four issues in and I still can’t decide if I should drop the book and wait for the REAL Wonder Woman to return, or continue with JMS’ run and see where it leads.  (Then I remember that I subscribed to this title, so I don’t have a choice…wink)

Two pencillers, two different styles, yet consistency is the best way I can describe this artistic endeavor.  You can most certainly tell the difference between each style, but never does it become so painfully obvious of a change that your eyes begin to bleed.  While the 7th page was hectic and full of chaos, it took my breath away with the amount of detail, color, depth and foreshadowing splashing throughout it.  Take a high five from me Kramer and Pansica!

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
So here I sit, thinking and remaining puzzled by JMS and his approach to Wonder Woman.  What will happen?  How long with this last?  Will things start to make sense sooner rather later?  Why is it I enjoy something so disconnected from continuity and the DCU?  Fingers and toes are crossed JMS, please don’t disappoint.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Writing: 7.5
Art: 8.5
Themes: 8

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