“Mothers and Daughters”
Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Julian Lopez, Bit (i), Marta Martinez (c)
Publisher: DC Comics
Wonder Woman has had a really rough time as of late. Joss Whedon was ousted from the film, Allan Heinberg took almost two years to deliver a story that had great potential, Jodi Picoult did a decent job but was tied down by Amazons Attack. Amazons Attack was, well, awful, and the main series can’t seem to find solid footing. I won’t lie, I was against the whole Jessica Biel thing, and I am still against the whole “Justice League” without exploring the individual characters first, but something needs to save the Amazon Princess. Many fans are putting their fish in a barrel with issue #14, as Gail Simone comes onboard to helm Wonder Woman. But can Simone bring Wonder Woman “From the Flames” as the cover of this issue suggests, or does the world need a standalone Wonder Woman film to reinvigorate interest in the Amazon Princess?
I’ve been extremely loyal to Wonder Woman ever since I became a regular reader during Greg Rucka’s run. She’s one of my favorite female superheroes, up there with Jean Grey, and she’s definitely one of my favored female characters behind Lois Lane, Carol Ferris and Sharon Carter, but it’s a tough time to love her right now. With Amazons Attack behind us and answers to questions such as “Where were Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters?” revealed, I was hoping that this issue of Wonder Woman would move forward and set up Gail Simone’s highly anticipated run. Instead, J. Torres lingers in the aftermath of Amazons Attack. J. Torres is a good writer, but I don’t think that the realm of the Amazons is the right fit for him. Then again, we are still dealing with Amazons Attack.
If there’s anything during these trying days of being a Wonder Woman reader that every writer seems to do right, it’s the chemistry between Nemesis and Wonder Woman. Seriously, Jodi Picoult nailed it, Will Pfeiffer had the right idea, and J. Torres has been playing off of it very well. Sure what is seen in this issue is “cutesy, vomity” dialogue between Nemesis and Agent Diana Prince, the chemistry definitely works. It’s the last relationship I ever expected but it’s been very well done, even the “Clark Kent” moment that Diana pulls off works well in the context of the story and the relationship.
But that scene and the artwork at certain points is the only thing remotely readable about this issue. This issue deals primarily with the immediate aftermath of Amazons Attack and it doesn’t really go anywhere. It simply re-visits and rehashes one of the worst crossovers DC has ever put out. With the sheer madness and intensity of the “Sinestro Corps War,” DC and Wonder Woman need to move on. Sure, I think it’s really cool that DC manages to keep continuity flowing by having their titles feature Washington D.C., being rebuilt. However, I could care less about Wonder Woman confronting anti-Amazon protesters, or Black Canary and Vixen opening an all-girls school. What really bothers me about the scene with the all-girls school is the feeling of self-importance beaten into this title. A young girl confronts Wonder Woman and is so awestruck that she talks in front of her friends for the first time. Come on, the idea that Wonder Woman was generally accepted back into society was beaten into readers’ heads a while ago and here it’s just beaten further.
Also the scene between Wonder Girl and her mother as a part of the whole “mother/daughter” relationship theme does nothing to pique my interest in the Wonder Girl mini-series. Personally, I like the Geoff Johns and Sean McKeever versions of Wonder Girl, the one mourning over the loss of Superboy but secretly wants to jump Robin’s bones - now that’s teenage angst! There’s nothing remotely progressive in this issue except for the ending which I assume sets up Gail Simone’s run, but ultimately adds yet another dimension to the mother/daughter theme.
I really like the artwork of Julian Lopez, Bit and Marta Martinez. While Diana’s face has some moments of inconsistency and her body looks overly muscular at times, the artwork is fairly solid. Marta Martinez takes a different approach to the yellow featured in Wonder Woman’s costume. Rather than the typical deep, bright yellow used for the tiara, belt, lasso and emblem, Martinez gives it a “golden glow.” It’s different that what we’re used to but I really dig it. It was a little bit on the orange side at times, but the glow really added a bit of realism to the image. Aside from the Nemesis/Diana banter, the artwork was the only thing bearable about this issue.
I hate to be this harsh on anything when it comes to reviewing, I respect and admire comic creators and the amount of work they put into a single issue, but enough is enough. Before Infinite Crisis, Wonder Woman was one of the best titles on the market, now it’s a joke. I hope Gail Simone ups the ante and DC begins to treat Wonder Woman right once again. Jessica Biel is out, Gail Simone is in; please save Wonder Woman.
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