Friday, 29 October 2010

Wonder Woman #604 review

The Burning Man fights Diana, his attempts at boring her to death with his long, tedious backstory having failed. A montage breaks out and Diana announces she'll gladly die in battle if she takes him, the Amazons' tormentor, with her.

Don't do it, cries the unexpected ghost of her mum, Queen Hippolyte. Do not darken your soul, never destroy hope ... 

... let me moida da bum.

And she does. The shade of Hippo stabs Burning Chap with a flaming spear, then Diana tries to catch a lift back to America and discovers she can fly. Huzzah, suddenly the sour-faced Amazon is all smiley.

Elsewhere, Fiery Fella's subordinates decide to grab a piece of the action, but instead grab only a doorknob.

I shouldn't be surprised by the return of Hippolyte, courtesy of writer J Michael Straczynski - she also popped up to chat to Diana last time she'd been roasted alive, a continuity or so ago. So last month Diana went to hell, and immediately came back; this month her mother visits from the other side. You wonder why anyone is worried about getting killed in this book, what with the revolving door of mortality.

I was intrigued when the flashback showed the Un-Burnt Man as a colonel, suggesting he was longtime Wonder-love Steve Trevor, but I hope that was me reaching. I find Wonder Woman hearing memories in her head annoying. And fight montages - this isn't TV. At this rate, next issue will end with a rendition of  'Halle-sodding-lujah'.

Don Kramer and Eduardo Pansica pencil, Jay Leisten inks and the artwork features the usual collection of scowls, swords, punches and blood. The best sequences are the villain's flashback, which opens with a good transition and builds in power, and the take-off, which actually captures a sense of wonder. 

In other news, our heroine continues to paint her legs blue and call them trousers.

The new Diana really is a rubbish character. Barely a character at all, truth be told - she's a snarly, petulant child who never thinks when she can attack. She learns nothing for herself, leaving Cinder Fella alive only because Ghost Mom tells her to. The 'all-new Wonder Woman' is a singularly unprepossessing recreation who doesn't deserve her own comic.

I've given it four months. Please may I have the real Wonder Woman back now?

11 comments:

  1. AMEN! The whole storyline is just retread of retread of rubbish! Ive tried and perhaps in a trade set read through the story might have more flow or wonderment, but for me I just keep turning to the next page going is it over yet?

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  2. Oh indeed. I'm more convinced than ever that this was intended as the Earth 1 graphic novel character.

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  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again--JMS simply doesn't "get" DC. He continues to write as if the DC Universe were a dank, dour place.

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  4. Big Papi PatricioFriday, 29 October, 2010

    "The Burning Man fights Diana, his attempts at boring her to death with his long, tedious backstory having failed."

    Which, of course, means he may not be Wonder Woman's archenemy, but he is mine, as I came closer to ending it all reading this dreadful comic than I ever have before.

    Seriously, this title is dead in the water.

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  5. Your point makes sense - JMS seems to prefer to take his characters away from the DCU proper rather than write them in context. Then he changes their personalities and the characters I enjoy are gone.

    What's odd, though, Snell, is that I've loved JMS's Brave and Bold work.

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  6. Patricio, I think it's not so much a case of you leaving Wonder Woman as the book leaving you. Diana has left the building and us poor saps are hanging back, hoping she'll show up.

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  7. The story of not-Diana continues... I wanted Diana to tell Burning Man that he should really read the Evil Overlord List of things not to do, that he should think twice about babbling his unoriginal origin—zzz—before offing her. Why should he do that? What earthly reason does he have? That's the primary thing that he never explained.

    And people are saying he's Steve Trevor. Oh, how cute. Zzz. (I think his name tag stands as good a chance of saying "Long" as it does "Trevor," but I don't expect too much knowledge of Wonder mythos from this creative staff.)

    I don't want to reread the issue until I have to. Is it ever explained HOW Colonel/General Burning Man managed to work in so many armies without aging? Or why those armies didn't have more distinctive uniforms so I wouldn't have to ask, "Oh, is he supposed to be in different armies?"

    Still no characterization or character background for not-Diana. No supporting characters either besides Mama-in-flames. The thing I really don't get is the readers who are eating all this up. Do they truly get off on such generic fare?

    Looking forward to seeing the sales figures on this and next ish. Hoping they'll make this go away soon. But if we return to Real Diana and Dan D is still trying to impose his not-Diana ideas upon her... where will that leave us?

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  8. "Cinder Fella": I love it. I echo your hope of seeing Wonder Woman get back to being Wonder Woman, ASAP.

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  9. I absolutely loved this review, and I have to agree with you about how bland and generic JMS' arc has been. Is anyone excited by this? Longtime Wonder Woman fans are scratching their heads, and I can't imagine that the previously indifferent are saying, "Yes! This is the ticket!" Anyway, well said.

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  10. Mart--To be honest, I pretty much hated most of JMS's B&TB, which to me seemed intent on sucking all of the fun out of some of the more fun DC characters, and replacing it with maudlin faux-Vertigo navel-gazing.

    Dial H for Hero? Great--except Robbie doesn't use the dial, he spends the whole issue being afraid of dying, and he deliberately lets someone steal the dial so they can die in his place...and Batman approves!!

    Flash and Blackhawks? Let's have an issue where Flash doesn't run, the Blackhawks don't fly, and they spend the issue berating Barry Allen for only disabling Nazis with super-speed arm tricks, and not being willing to kill them instead. And Barry gets all broody after spending several weeks fighting the Battle of the Bulge (off screen, of course).

    JMS had some great ideas for team-ups, but went about presenting them (mostly) in a "grown-up," deconstructionist sort of way that was the the exact opposite of the way B&TB should be (see Waid & Perez' run for my idea of what crazy whacked out fun the title should be).

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  11. Carol, the answers to all your questions are 'JMS is doing an alternate timeline and is working at his own pace and do stop asking awkward questions'. It seems we're meant to be satisfied that Diana has a sword and bigger boobs.

    Joe, E, thanks for the kind words. (If anyone's not checked out Joe's Quantum Blog or E's Girls Gone Geek, give them a look.)

    Snell, I see your points, nicely put. Didn't Robbie Reed spend some time as an evil wizard? Perhaps that left him screwed up.

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