Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wonder Woman #612 review


World's worst gods. That's what Diana's had in the last several years. If they're not trying to kill or rape her, Wonder Woman's supposed patrons are abandoning her, leaving the playing field at the first sign of a challenge. It's happened again, we learn this month, as the Olympians stand revealed as the shadowy figures who haunt Diana from time to time. 

Too afraid of their sister Nemesis, newly empowered, Zeus, Hera, Ares and the rest hide under antimacassars, which, as we all know, are the one true defence against an upstart goddess. Having had no such protection, Diana feels the wrath of Nemesis's agents, the Morrigan, as we begin this issue. One of 'em - no idea who, they're too rubbish to remember - is spraying Diana with Death Vomit, in order to convert her to the Morrigan ways. Luckily, the dying Artemis fires an arrow into her throat, trapping the vomit, and the witch explodes, destroyed by the Fart Cosmic

Zeus, King of the Gods
A lovely antimacassar to keep chairs ungreasy

This takes out the building too, leaving Diana trapped in the wreckage, helpless, until the Amazons' pet cat priestess shows up with the magic lasso and suggests that escape might be A Good Thing. That's when the gods of Olympus/Grandma's living room show up and shed their soft furnishings disguise. Are they ready to join Diana in the fight against Nemesis?

Are they heck as like! Only you, Diana, powerless but armed with lovely womanly qualities, can possibly defeat her. Bye-bye Diana, we'll have the kettle on when you get back. Try not to get killed.

Yep, rubbish. Supposedly Nemesis, as 'goddess of the unjustly slain, the murdered, the war dead', is fat with god-power due to the constant fighting on Earth. Ares, your actual god of war, doesn't look to have benefited at all, although he now insists that the gods should have fought back. 'Put 'em up, put 'em up' ... he's the Cowardly Lion of Olympus.

So off Diana goes to fight, the soldier on the frontlines while the generals take tea in the Officer's Mess. And once again she's being told what do to, a constant theme in J Michael Straczynski's Odyssey storyline. It's one thing for the gods to tell Diana she's learned loads, it's another for the reader to believe it. This woman can't put one foot in front of another unless there's a domestic pet there to egg her on. Heaven knows how she dresses herself in the morning. Which may explain why she's tied her shoelaces on her arms ... 

Diana's entrance into the realm of Nemesis yields the issue's highlight, as she meets her newly departed Amazon sisters and long-dead mother. They're in a monochrome world, crying out words Diana can't hear, crowding her with outstretched arms. It's a truly creepy moment from scripter Phil Hester, artists Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher, and colourist Pete Pantazis - something this run could have done with more of. 

The script's fine throughout this instalment, but it's serving a story that's just going on and on and on, like a little kid telling a tale. 'And then, and then, and then ...' Something I believe is already being done rather more amusingly in Axe Cop. And the art's generally nice - the exploding skyscraper is just fantastic, seriously, while Diana looks formidable when she actually remembers she's the star of the book.  

The issue closes with Diana facing Nemesis and learning that she is ... herself! Falls back in amazement, no one saw that coming. I say 'herself', I should say 'an incredibly badly drawn version of her old self, with massive eyes, nose and mouth, and rubber legs'. As far as money shots go, I'd give this one about 10p. Should do better.

Someone who does do better is Lee Garbett, who draws this month's cover - easily the best of the Odyssey debacle. Dave Meikis inks, Paul Mounts colours, all excel.

Hey ho, two more issue to go. Yes, why am I buying this comic?

11 comments:

  1. is there a picture of nemesis-as-diana for us to see? i kinda refuse to put the money out for this...
    cheers!

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  2. Love the review, Mart! I wish the book had been 1/10 as entertaining as your piece.

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  3. Most entertaining to read you being mildly rude about a book (justifiably, I'm sure). Bring on the post-Flashpoint reboot for the princess!

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  4. Horrendous...
    the worst issue so far...
    Ares acting like a pussy...
    Diana listening to her pussy...
    quite disgraceful all round...so nuDiana couldn tlear about love, forgiveness etc on Themyscira and had to come to Mans World to find out; yes, a BETRAYAL of everything Wonder Woman stands for!! Nemesis being Dianas evil self....except [heres the kicker in the balls] shes the volume 2/3 version of WW. Basically our true WW [the one we grew up with and have taken to our hearts] has apparently being the Big Bad all along, and nuDi has to kill her to assume her rightful place...
    I cant STAND this run...almost makes me wish for Flushpoint to start even if we get another version. I just could not believe that JMS and Hester could rubbish Diana and the Amazons reputations even more after Amazons Attack tried its best.
    Breaking News...DC hate Wonder Woman and are trying their level best to kill her off.
    At least we still have 600 issues of the original to still be in love with.

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  5. I admit I jumped off this ship 3 issues in. Sounds like I made the right decision.

    Great review as always.

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  6. Foresightreviews, sorry, am behind this week on responding to comments ... I expect you've seen the pic by now.

    Rob, mildly rude, me? Must try harder.

    Karl, I feel your pain, but I just can't take this issue seriously. It'll be ignored this time next week.

    Anj, wish I'd been Thelma to your Louise.

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  7. Another comment from me, a longtime WW fan...
    Its coming to something when Diana has to rely on a bloody cat to help her out of a ruined building!


    Says it all, really.

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  8. 'Useless' would seem to be fair comment.

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  9. See how long it took me to get to reading it? Gods, who even knows WHAT'S going on in this book anymore. Thanks for the synopsis, it puts things in perspective. If there's anything worse than the lazy plotting on show here, it's surreal plot elements. I hate that. It bores me to death.

    WW is one book that'll at least get better via Flushpoint.

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  10. Let's hope so. The solicitation for issue 2 sounds promising. Mind, that gives nothing away about how Diana will be characterised - which is fine, it'll be good to be surprised.

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  11. Let's just say I have more faith in the next creative team than I do in JMS' cocktail napkins. By far.

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