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Wonder Woman #25

Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Gail Simone
Bernard Chang
DC Comics
“A Star in Heavens" (part 2: Personal Effects)

Plot: Diana brought bodyguards along before going Hollywood, but no one was prepared for the dominatrix behind the invitation: the Queen of Fables.

Comments: When’s the last time you were disappointed at a story not taking long enough? While I thought this was the new ongoing arc, it turns out to be only an interlude between the lugubrious sword and sorcery arc of mid-year and the impending war with the Manazons, or whatever they’re calling them. I have my doubts about the fate of subtlety in the face of such an obvious battle of the sexes. I mean, Machizmo and Thundra ended up as a punch line in the old She-Hulk comic already. Well, Machizmo did anyway. But maybe Simone has something new in mind.

She certainly did in this Hollywood diversion, which reads as a warning to any and all impending Hollywood adaptations of the property in question. Simone pulled out the satirical stops with ill-conceived retellings of Paradise Island adventures and Diana’s conception in the first scene, and she does it again this issue with a horrid take on Steve Trevor’s parachute drop there. It’s very amusing to read Diana’s own commentary on events that diverge from the truth in ways that make her sick. In fact, Diana’s inner monologue may be the best part of this tale, as we get to see how Diana feels about the diversity of reactions she enjoys at nearly every stage. She knows she’s a polarizing figure. That’s the kind of nuanced writing I expected Simone to bring when she took on this title.

Bernard Chang does an excellent job with the art; he’s a bit of a rosier, brighter Michael Gaydos, actually. Diana’s dark Greek locks under his solid black inks contrast so wonderfully with her pale skin, flowing in thick curls from page to page. An appropriate emphasis for a story where the villainess mistakes her for Snow White. Chang also does a fair gloss on all the wicked witches of Disney myths especially, not duplicating but evoking the femme fatale in a very impressive design for the Black Empress. She suffers a final fate not unlike that which befell the foe of Prince Phillip in a classic tale, far too soon.

This little aside into La La Land has been well-considered and smart. While serving as an idol for young girls, Diana also acts as a shoulder to cry on for an alcoholic lawyer, and is more than capable of asking this pertinent question: “Why is it that people feel a belief in women equals a hatred of men?” Diana is clearly more complex than such claptrap as a Hollywood high concept insult to her legacy, and Simone’s seems to feel it’s better her movie stay in turnaround until they get it right.



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