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Wonder Woman #14 Review

Interestingly enough, a full FOURTEEN issues into the current Wonder Woman relaunch, the title finally gets a reasonable start to the series (this is not even meant as a shot at Heinberg or Picoult, they just were not given the opportunity to truly launch the title, as their runs were limited ones) with Gail Simone joining the book as the regular title. Simone’s first issue is a good one.

Like most good first issues, Simone mixes in some good foreshadowing along with the main story, and Simone appears to also take a page out of Miller and Moore’s book by hinting that there might be a substantial retcon coming re: Diana’s origin.

However, that’s just the prologue – the main part of the comic is a strong superhero story tinged with some espionage and a hearty bit of humor.

The humor is definitely the highlight of the issue, with Diana first fighting super-gorillas (everyone should fight super-gorillas at least once a year!), and then befriending the same super-gorillas, who come with their own amusing insights into yoo-man nature and the delicious frozen delicacies the humans keep in their fridges.

Etta Candy makes a return/debut (who knows with Infinite Crisis – the intimation is that it is a debut), and she seems interesting, although the body type is a bit on the svelte side – but I guess she is as fat as comic books can reasonably make someone nowadays without angering the Ed Benes of the world (“Wait – there’s more than one body type?!!? WHAT?!!?”)

Diana’s new man-made invisible stealth helicopter is cool.

The Dodsons were in good form in this issue, particularly in their handling of the gorillas and the body language of Diana and Tom.

Finally, the character interactions between Diana, Tom and Sarge Steel (plus Etta Candy and the gorillas) were all top rate.

Put it together with a nice cliffhanger that ties back to the prologue in a way that promises interesting future stories, and I’d say that Wonder Woman #14 was a success.

Recommended.

15 Comments

A caption mentioned the helicopter had been donated to the DMA by Waynetech, who reverse-engineered it from Wonder Woman’s old plane. So it’s not Diana’s. It’s the department’s.

I’m glad to see Nemesis being given something to do. Now all this title needs is Deadshot and the Wall and we’re cooking.

Oh man! The Wall would be a GREAT supporting character for WW! Who needs Etta Candy? And Deadshot… Wow.. He’d just keep firing and WW would just keep blocking with those bracelets…

Thanks, Mike!

I was happy to see Etta (aka Lieutenant Colonel Candy!) reappear. though her physical appearance, as drawn by the Dodsons, is really odd — it’d be nice if she was a bit more all-around zoftig, but furthermore, what’s up with her weird slanty eyes?

I LOVED the prologue, with the indication that one of Diana’s greatest foes has been imprisoned on Paradise Island for millennia and can’t wait to get out and kill her. (Also, very nice layout on that double-page spread, pp.2-3.) Nice to see Diana kick ass and also show compassion. Nice to see her have some romantic/sexual spark with Nemesis. (I guess we can thank Heinberg for one thing, huh? Because he introduced Nemesis to the title, right?)

What I don’t like: Diana doesn’t have her powers when she’s not in her costume? WTF? When did THAT retcon happen? Dreadful choice, it seems to me. I mean, there’s only one storytelling device you get out of that — and Gail’s using it already, as they’re attacked while she’s in “civilian” mode and she can’t change in front of Nemesis without spoiling her secret identity. Dumb, dead-on idea to sometimes-depower Diana.

Also: Captain Nazi? Really?! [ y a w n ] I was bored and disappointed when Johns trotted out super-Nazis in JSA, and I’m bored and disappointed here. Two rules of thumb in comics: Super-Gorillas = good. Super-Nazis = bad.

Still, I’m happy to follow Simone for a while and see where things go. And I’m sure everything will perk up on the villain front when Gail brings Dr. Psycho back into the mix. :-)

Here’s a question: isn’t Etta Candy’s role a rehash of Spy Smasher? Couldn’t they just use Spy Smasher sibnce she’s already an establihsed antagonist?

Oh no, they’re doing the no-powers-when-not-in-costume thing? That was only true in the TV series. She’d better spin to get into costume, then. That’s all I’m saying.

Now, no powers when bound by a man — that’s an actual restriction from the Golden Age, but that may be best forgotten too.

The no powers in costume thing was Circe’s “gift” to Diana at the end of Heinberg’s “run” (I think, or it may have been at the end of Amazons Attack – I get my dreadfulness confused sometimes).

I thought the issue was okay. I’m worried about this attempt to make her all things for all people, though. Diana’s persuading of the gorillas was a nice nod to her skills as a diplomat, but we’re also given nods to her roles as warrior, spy and magic-based creature here, each with their own genre frame. I think it will be tough to keep all those storytelling balls in the air rather than just focusing on one or two of them while telling strong stories. I’ll never understand what was wrong with Rucka’s approach to the character that she needed to be so thoroughly “re-imagined”…

And what is up with Themyscira? Is it abandoned with only Hippolyta to guard its mysteries (here) or is it full of Granny Goodness’ new Furies (Green Arrow/Black Canary)? I haven’t read Countdown since its first month, so if it’s explained there, well, I still think it’s sloppy, confusing editing on DC’s part.

Should, of course, say “no powers out of costume”…

Yeah, the most completely lamest part of the “no powers when Diana Prince” thing is that, since the plot point arose out of the finale of Heinberg’s arc, we didn’t actually get to see it happen until there was 3-4 issues of Poucoult’s Wonder Woman WITH the plot point, but unexplained (because they didn’t want to ruin Heinberg’s big finale).

How lame is that?

Incidentally, yes, she does spin to transform now. I sorta like making her a transforming hero, really. I like that Nemesis is the new Steve Trevor, too. (I miss Steve Trevor, though his character role dooms him to being hated by fanboys.)

Regarding “no Amazons”: at the end of Amazons Attack, all of the attacking amazons were reincarnated as mortal women, I think with no memories, and scattered across the world. “No more amazons,” basically. Stupid? Why yes, yes it is.

The end result is that Hippolyta and the prisoners (who appear to be Simone creations) are sorta hanging around deserted Themyscira on their own. This struck me as a bad idea from the start, and while YMMV on the Nazis, I like to see that Simone is immediately addressing the logistic problems created by a deserted Themyscira.

“Incidentally, yes, she does spin to transform now.”

This makes me happy.

Does the ‘no powers out of costume’ thing count if she just puts regular clothes on over her costume?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm

What if she’s only got half her costume on, is she half powered?

What if she’s missing an ear ring?

Rebis asked:
“I was happy to see Etta (aka Lieutenant Colonel Candy!) reappear. though her physical appearance, as drawn by the Dodsons, is really odd — it’d be nice if she was a bit more all-around zoftig, but furthermore, what’s up with her weird slanty eyes?”
—–
Nancy Grace?

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