Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wonder Woman #32 review

What I like about this issue is that writer Gail Simone has Diana cut loose against the monstrous Genocide. It's about time, the corrupted corpse of Wonder Woman has been on the loose for too long.

I liked the no-fanfare cameo by DC debutante hero the Shield, aiding the rescue operation as Washington crumbles mid-battle.

The art, by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan is superb, clearly showing the parry and thrust of battle, the emotions felt by Diana, Genocide, Nemesis and Prof Morrow.

What didn't I like? The rest.

The thought-narration by Diana was too melodramatic, with much self-flagellation about her use of what is obviously reasonable force to take down a major menace, and an unliving one to boot. And when at the end she declares the vanishing of Genocide 'impossible' Wonder Woman sounds like an idiot - even ignoring that Genocide is a teleporter, how many times has a defeated foe been secreted away by another villain? I'm all for dramatic statements, but not ones that make the hero seem dense.

The glacial pace of the Rise of the Olympian thread for which this arc is named (though the cover banner has vanished this issue - is someone at DC also just wishing it would end?) is frustrating. This month, part 7, less than two pages are devoted to the plot by Zeus to replace the Amazons.

Most of all, I didn't enjoy the 'revelation' that Diana never loved Nemesis. The moment of truth was well-executed, but unsurprising. The courtship of Tom Tresser by Diana has never convinced. Instead of the meaningful moments that mark out a developing relationship, it's been empty words and gestures. There was no spark, no chemistry between them, meaning Nemesis seemed as confused as the reader by Diana's declarations of intent (if anything, it appeared he had some deception of his own yet to be revealed).

The idea that Diana would lie to Nemesis in order to make him her stallion, father to a new brood of Amazons, is flawed on several levels. Firstly, Diana is about love, respect and truth - she simply would not lie to a man in order to repopulate Themyscira. Then there's the notion that Nemesis, master of deception, wouldn't know he was being lied to. It's as far-fetched as the veteran hero wimpering pathetically with self-pity at the news his best girl made a fool of him, which he does here. Maybe Genocide's psychic aura of misery is at work, but I don't really care at this point - I grew up with Nemesis the master planner, the super spy - not love's fool. I'm beyond ready for him to step up and be Diana's action partner, not pity object - and he was doing so well before the big downer from Diana, using the invisible craft to help her attack Genocide. Then . . . lovesick puppy who needs putting down.

And if Diana truly needed a sperm donor (has she forgotten that the Amazons were magically created?), there are likely thousands of fit, bright chaps who would love to help out.

But the notion that Diana would conspire with her mother Hippolyte - recent leader of a murderous Amazon attack on the United States - to deceive a friend and colleague and resupply her with Amazons is, at base, ridiculous. Given that, I expect Simone to reveal full details of the situation that will make Diana a heroine to admire again. Because there's no way the manipulative female we meet this issue is any kind of Wonder Woman.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Mart. When Genocide was falling into the ocean, Diana mentions that Genocide no longer has control of her arms and legs. If she cannot move an arm or a leg then I doubt she can teleport

    Also, regarding using Tom for his sperm, Genocide said that, not Diana. Remember when Diana gave Tom the nectrine necklace, it was with the intention to see if there was something between them, perhaps she has realised that there is not

    All the best

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  2. If she did, well, she should have knocked things on the head.

    As for the teleport, have we seen Genocide need to touch herself, or an object, to vanish?

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  3. I got a kick out of the folks over at Trinity trying so hard to backpedal (or at least it looked that way to me) to get themselves out of the "why is Nemesis here again?" conundrum. He was the one with the deep emotional ties to Dia-- oops. Nevermind.

    Trinity. Sigh. I have no idea why it was done, other than to grab my $$ for a year and convince me that I will NEVER do so AGAIN!

    I see your points about thish and agree with many, Mart. The odd thing is, I think Gail S can pull this out. However, I also think we'll still have 59 loose threads dangling to be resolved (maybe) in future story arcs.

    I live in fear of the proverbial truck that might suddenly take Gail from us. What happens to the plot then? Perhaps they'll go the way of that virus Dr. Poison let loose on the world back in issue mumble-mumble, that was never addressed again.

    But wasn't the art terrific? Those granny panties have to go. There's got to be a better solution! Hello, Daisy Dukes! Hot pants! A modest dancer's cut! And who do we see about getting the up-point on the tiara back?

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  4. Oh, don't get me started on Trinity . . . I fell behind and sat down with about 22 issues last week. Got through about 12 - talk about stretching a story out. I may do a small review.

    I don't think we're so far apart re: expecting Gail to pull something out of the bag, but I'm finding the incidental pleasures are no longer enough to make up for the apparently scatteshot nature of this sprawling storyline.

    And yes, the art is double plus good, even with the terrible tiara and apparently moulded panties.

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  5. Apparently a lot of folks completely missed the other big revelation in this issue. The Amazons poop just like the rest of us mere mortals(LOL)!! I'd rather read a good book while on the throne though instead of looking at a severed head on a pike. Thats so last century(LOL). Seriously though, I think your review is spot on. This storyline is all over the freaking place. I've enjoyed parts of it,but this is not Gail Simone's best work IMO.

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