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She Has No Head! – Wonder Woman #600: A Lot Of Promise, Not Enough Delivery

WONDER WOMAN #600. Gail Simone, Amanda Conner, Louise Simonson, Geoff Johns, and J. Wonder Woman 600 coverMichael Straczynski  (writers).  George Perez, Amanda Conner, Eduardo Pansica, Scott Kolins, Don Kramer (art).  Scott Koblish, Bob Wiacek, and Michael Babinski (inks).  Hi-Fi, Paul Mounts, Pete Pantazis, Michael Atiyeh, and Alex Sinclair (colors).  Adam Hughes, Nicola Scott & Jason Wright, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Rod Reis, Gullem March, Greg Horn, Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato, Phil Jimenez & Hi-Fi, Jock, Shane Davis, Jamie Mendoza, Nei Ruffino (pin ups). Lynda Carter (introduction).  DC.  56 pages.  $4.99.

All right, let’s jut talk about the costume briefly and get it out of the way since we’ve kind of beat this horse dead already.

No, I don’t like the new costume.  But it’s not just because I don’t like the look of it (though I don’t).  It’s because it simply doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman.  I don’t like the way it looks, but that’s fine, everyone has different tastes and we’re never ALL going to agree so it’s a fools errand anyway.  Yes, I would prefer if the costume was more “fashion forward”, more modern and clean-lined rather than feeling like a fussy design throwback to 80’s fashion and 90’s comics.  And while we’re here I’ll flat out say that I think this Jamie McKelvie design comes really close without even trying.

Jamie McKelvie Wonder Woman

Jamie McKelvie Wonder Woman Design

However, rather than pull the costume apart based on my personal tastes, I just think that in this reboot, a storyline in which Diana has apparently lost (or doesn’t have access to?) some of her powers; has lost most of her Amazonian heritage; and grew up in an urban environment rather than on an island – wouldn’t it be great if she still really looked like Wonder Woman?  Wouldn’t it be great if despite a massive change to her history she still just OOZED Wonder Woman?  Wouldn’t it be great if costume change, history change, and dead Amazons be damned, Diana still just OWNED the mantle of Wonder Woman without anyone…even she…knowing it?  That’s what bothers me.  Diana, whether in formal wear, sweats, or the famous strapless bathing suit should FEEL like Wonder Woman.  And this costume and look doesn’t feel that way to me, so it disappoints me.  It seems like a really great chance to solidify why Diana IS Wonder Woman, independent of all the miscellaneous facts, and to me, it fails.

If you want to read more about this…well, just look anywhere on the web and you’re sure to bump into it, but Sonia had a really interesting post about it on CSBG last week, and as always, the people I’d go to if I wanted to hear experts talk about why it works and why it doesn’t, Project: Rooftop, did a special review post about it.  Additionally, Brian did a great feature for CBR’s front page illuminating Wonder Woman’s costume through the ages, and a special Wonder Woman focused Comic Book Legends Revealed that was excellent.

Okay, onto the actual issue.

I have to say; overall, considering the talent on this book, I was really disappointed.

The first story is a seven-page Gail Simone penned, George Perez penciled (and inspired) story called Valedictorian with inks by Scott Koblish and with Hi-Fi doing the colors.  The story is essentially a giant battle of female DC superheroes against IVO’s “Cyber-Sirens” who it seems can only control men, thus leaving the day saving up to the ladies.  It’s a pretty massive battle to have in four pages and that Simone and Perez manage it at all is impressive, but it’s the kind of short story – doing way too much with way too many characters in far too few pages – that really leaves me a bit cold.  It was wonderful to see Perez’s always beautiful pencils and the piece had a few nice moments (The Question trying to work up the courage to ask for Diana’s autograph was priceless), but it was just too much to do in too little time.

The second part of the story (yes, in a seven-page story there’s a “second part”) is a more emotional almost epilogue piece about Diana and Vanessa Kapatelis.  I think longtime fans might find this touching and appropriate, but again for me it was just too much jammed in there for me to really get anything resonant out of it.

WW 600 Simone

A page from Valedictorian by Simone and Perez

Additionally, while it was really fun in a way to see so many female supes gathered together, in the end there were so many “guest stars” in these pages that Wonder Woman herself was all but lost.  Though Simone’s writing is always solid there wasn’t much time in the pages to experience the Wonder Woman that I have so come to love under her pen.  I’m glad she got the chance to tell a story here, to say a little goodbye of sorts, but I found myself wishing for a smaller story that showed me the Diana that I fell in love with.  There was no room in these pages for the sense of humor and creativity that Simone actually brought to Wonder Woman.

All that said, you know I loved your Wonder Woman, Gail.  I am going to miss you and your book immensely, and thank you for finally giving me an opportunity to fall in love with Diana.

WW 600 Connor 1

An excerpt from Conner's Fuzzy Logic

The second story, an Amanda Conner piece called Fuzzy Logic with colors by Paul Mounts is the best story in this entire book by a country mile.  Fuzzy Logic is a five-page Wonder Woman/Power Girl team up story that manages to be clever, funny, and adorable all at once.  Conner nails these five pages.  And she nails them because beyond being one of the best cartoonists working today, she is well aware of what can and can’t be done in five pages.  So she shows us the final hurrah of a battle, tells a few jokes, and then plays out a short story about Wonder Woman, Power Girl, and Power Girl’s cat.  It’s hilarious.  It also plays on a power of Diana’s that would be hella useful, but which we rarely see utilized, in that she can talk to animals.  The results are so fun.  So fun I can’t stand it.  It makes me desperate not only to have Amanda Conner’s Power Girl back, but also to have some kind of crazy Wonder Woman/Power Girl monthly ongoing.  In some strange way, they’re the perfect foils for each other…at least as written and illustrated by Conner – Diana with her strange kind of stilted seriousness and childlike curiosity and Kara with her modern savvy and light sarcasm.  God, what a team they could be.  It would just be like rolling in fun…constantly.

For additional over the top cool points, Conner uses Cassandra Cain (aka Batgirl) as a guest star in a handful of precious panels.  CASSANDRA CAIN.  Whoop!  She doesn’t get to do much, but man it was good to see her back in comic pages…and in her rightful badass batgirl costume…and drawn by Amanda Conner no less.  Such a treat.

WW 600 Connor 2

Excerpt from Amanda Conner's Fuzzy Logic

The third story, a Louise Simonson penned, Eduardo Pansica penciled piece called Firepower, inked by Bob Wiacek and colored by Pete Pantazis, suffered similarly to Simone’s piece, trying to do way too much in way too little space.  The story, about Superman and Wonder Woman rescuing people from a crashed plane and then jaunting off to stop a blackmailer (Aegeus) that crashed the plane and threatens to do more damage if not paid off, is pretty much a throwaway.  It’s a ho-hum story any way you slice it, and though I generally like Simonson’s writing I found the dialogue pretty stilted…maybe even dated “The Excela high speed train’s coming! There’s no way we can stop–!” Lines like that just made me wince.  More importantly however, like Simone’s piece this one falters by giving Superman nearly equal face time with Diana…making it seem less like a Diana story and more like a JLA short.  I guess if it was exceptionally well done (as the Conner piece was) I wouldn’t really mind the team up here…but it just doesn’t say anything interesting…I learn nothing about Diana, or Superman, or the villain.  It feels like a placeholder.  Short stories really have to be exceptional in order to stay with you and not feel like a waste of time and money, it’s why anthologies are always such a mixed bag – not everyone can do the short story exceptionally, and I think this piece here is an example of that failing, which is not to say Simonson is not capable of it – just that this one isn’t successful.  The plot seemed a bit contrived and cliché – we’ve definitely seen some version of this many times before.  And because J. Michael Straczynski’s piece – the launch into this major Wonder Woman reboot – is only 10 pages…TEN PAGES!…the real problem is that for anything that seems like a waste of space in the issue you can’t help thinking – “I wish I’d gotten six more pages of JMS to see where he’s going with this, rather than a throwaway story that means nothing”.  Very frustrating.

Ironically, the fourth piece, a six-page story called The Sensational Wonder Woman by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins operates somewhat as an introduction to Straczysnki’s piece and does almost nothing with its luxurious six pages – including two massive splash pages (one that I initially mistook for a pin up because it only has three words on it).  There’s really no plot to speak of for me to download to you…it’s just kind of cryptic narration and images.  So you’ve got Simonson and Simone trying to pack in story arcs and massive guest stars and then you’ve got Johns just kind of ambling along with a little pseudo introduction to JMS’ relaunch piece that goes nowhere…and it makes a reader feel like this book should have been much better coordinated.  They could have cut down John’s piece by two, maybe three pages and given the space where it was needed elsewhere and he still could have told the same story.  It’s very disappointing to see a book with so much talent and potential be a bit wasted.

Excerpt from JMS's Odyssey: Prologue COUTURE SHOCK

Excerpt from JMS's Odyssey: Prologue Couture Shock

The fifth story, the main event as it were, was a big let down for me, if only because I expected much more than ten pages of story from J. Michael Straczysnki’s much anticipated re-launch.  I think I learned more in the interviews and articles I’ve read about the reboot than I did in these ten pages and the end result is I can’t really tell you what I think about it one way or another.  These pages aren’t bad or poorly written in fact I’d say they’re well drawn and well written, but there’s just not enough here to make a call about anything.

I’ve been hesitant all along about a reboot for Diana, because A) I really liked the character, book, and direction under Simone’s pen and B) The way this has been described is largely as a temporary reboot – i.e. someone (gods) have messed with the time line and it will be up to Diana to “fix it” and get us back to business as usual in a year (or whatever) – and I don’t know about you guys, but that whole thing is getting really old.  I mean I’m reading nearly that exact thing (done quite well by Morrison) in The Return of Bruce Wayne…so I’m feeling pretty burnt on the concept.  Is it possible that JMS can tell a mind-blowing story over the course of the next year that will make me glad that he took me on this journey?  Sure, it’s possible, and I’m trying to keep my mind open and have a little faith, but the reality is that it’s most likely that we’ll be back to the status quo in a year.  Hopefully it will have meant a year of great stories and adventures before we reset back to the same old thing, but I don’t know…I’m tired of being jerked around I guess.  I get that it’s hard to tell a compelling superhero story that hasn’t been seen before, and to do that you sometimes have to step outside the box, sometimes way outside the box, and I’m okay with that in theory…but I guess I’m just feeling a little weary.

It doesn’t help I suppose that I’m not wild about some of these changes (as far as I can tell), and based on these ten pages haven’t learned much to push me in either direction.  I don’t like that Diana is suddenly 21 (or 23 depending on what you’re reading?).  I mean, I know in comics we play fast and loose with age (and I talked about this on my Heralds post as well in regard to Emma Frost’s age) but does Diana really feel that young to you guys?  To me she feels early 30’s…but I could maybe believe 28…if I really push myself.  So if she’s 21 now…am I just and have I always been delusional about her age?  Are we back in time?  I just don’t know.  All questions that will be answered?  Maybe, hopefully, but almost nothing was answered here – it’s ten pages full of “I don’t know who I am” and cryptic Oracle messages – so that’s not a great start.

The rest of the book is pin ups and a Lynda Carter introduction.  The Carter introduction was fairly inspiring and I enjoyed it, more than I usually do with these kind of celebrity tie-ins. She seemed to have a real affection for Diana and while I can’t imagine she’s been reading the comics all these years, it almost felt like she has, like she cares that much.  Maybe I just retain faint positive memories of Lynda Carter spinning around and me mimicking her in my Wondy underoos in my living room and am thus incapable of thinking bad thoughts about her?  Hard to tell.

WW 600 Adam Hughes

Wonder Woman Pin Up by Adam Hughes

The pin ups, which are something I used to like as a teen, but which I realize I have less and less appreciation for as an adult especially when some of those stories really could have used the extra page or two, were a bit underwhelming.  Certainly Phil Jimenez’s double page spread is historic and impressive and to those that were big fans of his Wonder Woman, a welcome addition.  But other than that, only Adam Hughes, who always does a powerful and inspiring Diana, impressed me.  Even Nicola Scott’s Diana, which is almost always a slam-dunk, seemed a little off.  And Jock, whose work I generally love, turned in a pretty terrible Diana, one that has a very strange, almost creepy porno look to it.  Odd.  And a shame.

Overall, especially because of the price, I can’t in good conscience recommend this book; as it’s much more miss than hit.  However, Diana getting her 600th issue is significant and something I want to support, and if, like me, you’re planning to give JMS’ run a try anyway, you should pick this up and check it out.  Plus you’ll have Conner’s excellent story to help get you through.

27 Comments

Kelly, I appreciate your comments always and I’m sorry our story didn’t quite work for you. Your support has meant the world to me and has been very much appreciated.

My suggestion then, is just to ignore the dialogue and look at the pictures. Perez Wonder Woman! SWOON!

Seriously, I never wanted to just leave the art wordless as much as I did with these pages. In black and white with no dialogue or captions, they just blew my brains out the top of my skull!

I’m hopeful for the new direction, I think it’s a good time to try something like this.

Best always,

Gail

[...] comic reviews, comics, comics news, comics should be good, she has no head!, wonder woman A new SHE HAS NO HEAD! is up, a detailed review of Wonder Woman #600.  And yes, I talk a bit about the costume.  Woo! A [...]

I don’t think it makes much sense if Diana is suddenly 21 or 23. During Simone’s run she acted like an adult woman, someone in her early thirties rather than early twenties. And since she’s supposed to be a big sister figure to Donna, and Donna is a big sister figure to Cassie, making her 21/23 would kinda screw up the respective relationships between the three.

“she can talk to animals”
Duh! That part makes so much more sense now! :)

I agree with your assessment. Most of the issue hovers between good and great, but the last story… I only skimmed it. It’s just not the story, Wonder Woman or otherwise, that I’m looking for.

I’ve been hesitant all along about a reboot for Diana, because A) I really liked the character, book, and direction under Simone’s pen and B) The way this has been described is largely as a temporary reboot – i.e. someone (gods) have messed with the time line and it will be up to Diana to “fix it” and get us back to business as usual in a year (or whatever) – and I don’t know about you guys, but that whole thing is getting really old. I mean I’m reading nearly that exact thing (done quite well by Morrison) in The Return of Bruce Wayne…so I’m feeling pretty burnt on the concept.

Just so.

Infinite Crisis was allegedly the tale of what happens when the Trinity is broken and the JLA is broken at the moment when everything goes to hell– and everyone learned that they needed to go away, come back, recommit to the mission and the team and each other. OK, fine, and a plausible way to dig out from the post- Identity Crisis mess.

Superman and Batman both got substantial OYL runs from strong creators that let them play in their new, recommitted, status quos. Wonder Woman– like Flash and JLA– didn’t. She got train wreck, train wreck, and train wreck, and then Simone came on board and was *finally* able to start doing the building of Diana’s post-OYL reorganized life, work that folks like Busiek, Johns, and Morrison had already done for Superman and Batman a year before.

Of course, those rebuilt status quos then got taken apart and sent to New Krypton and RIP and so on, just as Wonder Woman was getting up and running. And now hers has been taken apart, too.

I guess what I’m saying is: the post-OYL of lots of things in the DCU has been off, and this is another example of it. It’s not yet “time for a change” for Wonder Woman; her current incarnation has really just gotten started. After spending all the time and effort to build a new sandbox, why not play in it for a while?

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 5, 2010 at 9:48 am

In the past few months, I’ve seen iconic figures such as Superman, Batman, and now Wonder Woman all reach milestones in their respective books.

I’ve not read any of these books, but from what I’ve read on reviews, comments by fans & bloggers, it seem like DC has failed to make each of these milestones memorably worthwhile reading.

I’ve just started reading Ms. Simone’s run on W.W. in trades, and it’s quite a change from Rucka’s and Perez’s version of W.W. I’m not sure I like it, but it’s different to say at the least.

I’ll wait awhile before reading JMS’ version. I wonder if JMS will be doing to Batman as he does to Superman and W.W.

This bugs me for a couple of reasons, some of which you alluded to (everything probably status quo after a year so what’s the point other than to do a money grab with a big name writer or to do something else. which I’ll get to in a moment) and some of which hasn’t really been discussed.

The one thing that no one seems to be bothering with is that if this is a “new” history (especially if she’s been hiding that whole time as the above and everything else suggests), then presumably Wonder Woman hasn’t been at the forefront in the DCU. Sorry, that’s a major continuity issue that should affect everything (anywhere from the basic “so she wasn’t a Star Sapphire in Blackest Night or killer of Maxwell Lord” to “Gee, I guess that means Batman, Superman, Kyle Rayner, Wally West, Plastic Man, and Aquaman/Arthur Curry died fighting the ID in JLA since Diana wasn’t present to save them”).

You can’t simply yank out a major character like Diana and say she never existed as she was without the continuity and timeline going to hell. It doesn’t work that way, regardless of who’s writing. If it did work that way, then why not just go back to the 60′s and there is no continuity between stories and Green Arrow can plausibly go fight aliens on Mars or something?

Further, many people read certain characters because of the mythologies involved. You can disagree with me, but it seems that part of the job of a writer should be to build on the existing mythology and not to simply use a cheap plot device (like deals with the devil or time line alterations) to create a blank slate so that the writer can do what they want. It’s almost like saying what came before just doesn’t matter because hey, it’s my book now, so I’ll do what I want. As a reader, that’s off-putting.

So what’s the end game? I see two possibilities: 1) status quo, so what was the point really except to tick people off, or 2) Here’s your new Wonder Girl, left over like X-Man after the proper time line is restored. That would explain the younger age and create a situation for Wonder Woman once it all ends.

Is it worth it? I’d probably wait for trades…

Couldn’t agree more. I’m gonna say first that I’m not the biggest Wonder Woman fan but I’m starting on trades with Ms. Simone because I’ve heard rave stuff and shame it wasn’t more focal.

But I’m not reading a page out of JMS.

For a company that talks alot about the Trinity in DC, they sure have done a hell of a job to make sure they don’t interact with each other. Bruce is “lost in time/Jack Kirby” dead, Superman has been in Space and now gonna walk around America and now we have this. To be flat out, I said this is just JMS reusing OMD and using time traveling instead of magic. But i think there is more to the story behind all that fallout at Marvel, but that’s just me and not for here.

First off, JMS thinks that WW is just in a rut and therefore she has to change for the Modern world. Well if this is temporary and he is making her about 10 years younger. I’m guessing he just didn’t want to write about WW at all. If anything, the strongest part about Simone’s part is all the young female heroes who look up to her, I say thats a big part.

The other is continuity, which in itself is a double-edge sword. There hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about how is this going to make sense. WW is such an iconic figure in DC lore, how will that work? The very ladies who fight in costume, who do they look up too? And biggest of all, Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark? How do they play in it, because one is in JLA and the other leads the Teen Titans the last time I recall.

If DC brings her out her comic, so much is left to be explained. If it is self-contained, then its really JMS writing what he wants to write and DC will have to figure out an escape plan. At this moment, it feels like that WW will go back to what she was before. (unless i’m missing a twist)

That was a rant but I’ve haven’t been on the JMS bangwagon like most. He can write well but he has many swing and misses too. But that is my opinion.

This whole new status quo seems just like the last season of Lost

Also, according to interviews, this new arc is a couple yeas in the spat, that’s why she looks younger.r

My problem with the costume definitely comes from the fact that, like so many Jim Lee designs, it doesn’t say the character’s name to me. A good costume should be able to give a reader with nothing but the name to go on the definite impression that this is that character. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, on and on, the best costumes do this. If you stuck the current design in a lineup of female DC characters (minus Supergirl, Batgirl, and Batwoman, of course), and asked a total uninitiate “Which one’s Wonder Woman,” I doubt they could pick her out five times out of ten. That’s a problem, and not just one for Wonder Woman.

Steven R. Stahl

July 5, 2010 at 11:14 am

If Diana’s dialogue in Conner’s story resembles how she speaks in other stories, and wasn’t exaggerated for comedic effect, I can see why people would avoid the stories. Her dialogue was ultra-formal, even Spock-like. Reading that dialogue issue after issue would be unbearable.

As you noted, the Simone/Perez story was too short for the number of characters. What I noticed most were the ridiculous costumes that Black Alice and a few others wore, as if editors think that bare midriffs turn on everyone. More often, they look silly. The reverence for WW was also overdone.

I dislike the idea of WW being 22 as well. Having the heroes in their 20s seems to be a standard approach at Marvel (and DC?). If the illusion of change policy is in effect, that means story after story of a hero making young adult mistakes without being allowed to age and mature, forcing a reader to either accept the repetition or quit reading. However, illusion of change forces repetition to occur with any title. Which is less painful? The classic WW, with her anachronistic birthplace, her silly costume and accessories (e.g., the lasso), and her anachronistic mannerisms? Or JMS’ version, which arguably eliminates the problematic elements while allowing her to refer back to her ancestry?

A bad writer will handle any character and/or situation badly, but making Diana more of a standard genre heroine could make bad and mediocre stories less painful to read, without limiting the good writers.

SRS

The age thing was a sticking point for me, too. I’ve always imagined her as around the same age as the rest of the first generation JLA members, but by making her 23, she’s suddenly a contemporary of the first generation Teen Titans. That just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Plus, as others have said, if she’s just now coming out of hiding, that messes with continuity. And since this has already happened to Wonder Woman once before (post-Crisis), we’ve all seen just how much trouble that can cause. However, they seem to be leaning toward a “everything happened in the past the way you saw it happen, but the characters remember it differently”, which – I suppose – is the best way to handle it, short of not doing the timeline change at all.

And having this Wonder Woman emigrate to the main timeline would be interesting, but I feel she would be shunted aside as any place she had in a story could probably be filled just as well by Wonder Girl or Donna Troy.

@Gail. No need to thank me, you did great things with Diana, things that I’m definitely in mourning for having to lose, but you helped me fall in love with the character, so I’m not about to abandon her now. Thanks for coming by and commenting – it means a lot.

@SRS: You may be right that the Conner penned/drawn Wonder Woman/Power Girl team up I’ve been dreaming of might work better as a mini-series than an ongoing.

There is an aspect to WW that is very formal in Conner’s take and while I could really appreciate it in this story and could imagine a great team up book – almost odd couple style – playing off of each other beautifully – it’s true that the more formal stilted childlike voice of Diana used in Conner’s piece WOULD likely set the character back in my mind from where Gail took her. Gail’s WW had a warmth and sense of humor that I loved…and losing that would feel like a step backwards for the character in the long run I suspect.

Still – it could make a hell of a fun miniseries. I ache for the unabashed fun of that imagined mini-series.

Adamantium Wholesaler

July 5, 2010 at 11:54 am

I’ve never been a WW fan, so this should be taken with a grain of salt. Having said that…I just don’t understand the logic behind this. The character is a hard-enough sell under normal circumstances, I don’t see the benefit in adding Hawkman/LoSH-style convolution to the mix. I have absolutely no problem with making major changes to characters, but this seems like it’d be better suited for an All-Star Wonder Woman title. One of the things the character has going for her is that she’s established and an icon, so making her a nobody all over again…I just don’t get it. I’d rather have seen a new costume and a more modern approach (as Gail seemed to be doing) instead of an all-out reboot.

The issue overall was kind of a let down.
I would agree with you that it would have been better served had they given more pages for JMS’s introduction to the new storyline.
I’m not sure what you didn’t like about the Nicola Scott pin-up, Kelly, but I thought it looked absolutely great.
I don’t really know what the purpose of including the short written by Louise Simonson was. It was a decent enough story, but it didn’t really add anything and I would rather they have given those pages over to JMS or Gail.
I loved the Amanda Conner story. That alone was worth the cover price.
DC should have Amanda do a graphic novel. She could work it at her own pace (not beholden to the grind of a monthly title). I would pay good money for a Wonder Woman/Power Girl graphic novel written and drawn by Amanda. Throw in a few other guest-stars (the new Terra, maybe Supergirl, etc.) and it would be absolute gold as far as I’m concerned.
And if Gail and Amanda ever want to work together on a Wonder Woman graphic novel, I’d buy the heck out of that too.

The whole issue – every story – hit me the same way: great art, weak story.

I really WANT Wonder Woman to be good… but it has been a long time since that was true. When Gail came on I had high hopes, but she kept a lot of the trappings of the previous run, which I didn’t like at all. (Man, did I find Tresser annoying!) I LOVE Gail’s writing on other books – Secret Six of course, Birds of Prey… but Wonder Woman… well, it has been a while since anyone has really nailed it. I wish I could say what it needs… but it is ephemeral.

As I ahve said elsewhere, I consider the costume a big improvement (not that it is awesome, but she is no longer pageant swimsuit woman), but the story… I don’t like the sounds of it. Hopefully I am wrong.

They should get Greg Rucka back in the title and just say that everything that happened after he left was a dream Diana had because she tried Man’s World pizza for the first time. That is a reboot I could stand behind.

The current costume is no less silly than the old one. The difference is that the old one was timeless, superhero-y silliness. The new one is 1990s Image silliness. Give me the old one any time.

I_Captain Blanco

July 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm

>They should get Greg Rucka back in the title and just say that everything that happened after he left was a dream Diana had because she tried Man’s World pizza for the first time.<

A-freakin'-MEN, brother. That was one of the best runs on WONDER WOMAN ever, second only to the classic Perez run. Was looking at some of those original issues the other day and realized the Rucka WW was also the last time Ivan Cohen edited anything at DC before he started working on their TV stuff. Maybe they should of made HIM editor-in-chief.

Wonder Woman seems to make for a great subject to write stories around, but not stories about.

600 is a huge accomplishment,given the lame obsticals. And as with most monumental issues…not suprised by the let down. Thanks again for crit. Enjoyed it. Amanda was helpful to me…always great to see her kick butt.

These big double-zero issues pretty much scream for the “Past, Present and Future” approach. Structurally, WONDER WOMAN #600 handled its business almost exactly like SUPERMAN #700, but with the filler coming in the “Present” section instead of the “Past”.

Superman had Dan Jurgens doing a disposable Superman-Robin team-up, but I prefer the spirit of what Simone attempted here. Julia and Nessie Kapatelis is some very old and welcome business for a reader that came to WW immediately post-COIE. The big battle up front felt like a waste of precious real estate, but I know folks want to see George Perez draw big fist-ups.

The Amanda Conner piece was great and I am already missing POWER GIRL.

As to the rest of the “Present”, I was not sure what the point of the Superman/WW team-up was in an issue already over-stuffed with guest stars. Worse, it was team-up that needed neither Superman, nor Wonder Woman. To me, the most interesting aspect of their relationship is that in 99 out of 100 alternate realities that they wind up a couple. Yet, here they are in one of the few when they have not gotten together. What is that like? The second most interesting thing is that they have been co-workers and peers, since … jeez … forever. What is that like? The third is that they are the Alpha Male and Alpha Female of the DCU. They know everyone and everyone looks up to them. What is it like to be the most popular kids at a muti-dimensional High School?

We got nothing like that, so what was the point other than to give the great Louise Simonson a crack at WW? I preferred seeing the out-going Superman writer getting a shot at putting a sweet little coda on the WoNK debacle.

The Geoff Johns piece felt shorter than it was for better and worse.

On the JMS stuff, it convinced me to read the next issue. I guess that was it job.

Thought I should point out – I just bought Adam Hughes’ DC cover art book; and the kids in that pin-up of his are the cast of Friends, because that was on TV when he was drawing it.

I have trepidations about this new look but im willing to give it a go. WW deserves our support , esp at a time like this. Cant say im too pleased with the new cossy but itll only be for a year or therabouts I really enjoyed 6oo, like it was a love letter to WW for all the enjoyment she given us over the years.

I haven’t read the issue yet but I have to say… when I saw the new costume. I didn’t care for it either. She didn’t feel like wonder woman to me either. I love wonder woman. I mean they should have kept her boots or something! I has even more ticket off finding out that they were changining her history! I understand needing to make a story sell but one should be more creative than to start from scratch.

Now that I have made my opinion based on the news and the costume I will have to read issue 600 to see my viewpoints then.

Excellent review. Your comments about a WW/PG ongoing are dead-on, and I wish it could happen, story/art by Conner, or Simone/Conner. Yowza.

On the costume: I kept reading the book when Loebs and Deodato put her in that other 90s jacket. Didn’t love the look, but it was still a Wonder Woman comic. I’m more concerned here with story than (yes, awful) costumes. Last week, I had WW taken off my pull list. I haven’t missed an issue since the Perez reboot, but I can’t commit to a story that appears to hate everything about Wonder Woman. If it’s good, and if it eventually veers back to a “truer” Wonder Woman, there’s always the TPBs.

I admit I understand DC’s problem: WW should be selling better, and if neither Rucka’s nor Simone’s great runs could set the market on fire … what do you do? Push the creator/series as hard as you can, despite it all (Marvel’s Agents of Atlas approach) or just shrug and say, “This is good; we should put it out for the subset with taste” (the Jonah Hex approach, and apparently the Madame Xanadu approach)? I’d say, hell yes to either/both, but DC probably sees Wonder Woman as so big a character that relative niche sales aren’t acceptable.

So, for now I’ll pull my cash out of the JMS WW, at least until the man who gave us spider totems and Gwen Stacy clones proves he’s got something worthwhile going on, and divert it to replacing my Gail issues with the TPBs (hell, maybe The Circle in hardcover). My microscopic effort to move DC’s bottom line in the direction I like, I guess.

I’ll say this: it took me a full year after Gail Simone’s run started to start reading Wonder Woman again. Then I got all her back issues.

And to be fair, the art was wonky and variable — some artists better than others — and the problem of tying up a gazillion loose ends from other writers’ plotlines was a bit offputting. But the basic take on the character was addictive. Gail’s take on Wonder Woman is the first I’ve read which really *advances* the character beyond the original 1940s version while remaining true to it.

Wonder Woman could set the market on fire, but it’s not gonna be the same people who buy the usual stuff which DC puts out (to put it impolitely). Which means you need to give it time for its natural audience to notice that it even EXISTS. On the plus side, this is ‘new money’ to DC if they do it right. Instead, they take something which is working… and yank the rug out halfway through.

On another topic, it feels like few Wonder Woman writers have actually looked back at the 1940s Moulton issues to see what the essential ‘formula’ was: one part female-superiority of the sort in the Oz books (yes really), one part Superman, one part the Greco-Roman Goddess Artemis (a goddess whose cult was mostly male, incidentally…)

For that matter, have no Superman writers ever looked at the 1930s Superman issues? The superpowered populist fighter against corrupt corporate bosses would be really popular today, beyond comics fandom, but nobody’s writing Superman that way…

I think there’s a mindset in the executive offices of DC which is simply not thoughtful enough to appreciate what made Wonder Woman wonderful. Or Superman super, for that matter. They’ve retreated down their self-imposed self-limited “comics fan” rathole, with groupthink and “event deaths” and “reboots” which aren’t, and suchlike.

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