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And People Wonder Why I Hate Snakes

April 18, 2010


     It’s just about time for Gail Simone’s swan song on Wonder Woman (so sad!), what with J. Michael Straczynski taking over the title in a few months.  So Simone’s last arc begins with Wonder Woman #42, which returns us to Procanon Kaa and the space story that began back in Wonder Woman #18.  Kaa, his Khund partner Kho Kharhi, and another Green Lantern, Thulka Re, investigate a planet completely ravaged, and one that Kaa had been at only seventy-five minutes before.  They discover the lone survivor of the planet’s race, who tells of snakes that dropped from the sky, killed everyone, and grew bigger.  Then, said snakes attack, and Thulka Re sacrifices his life to let everyone else escape.  Elsewhere, one of the giant snakes is killed, and the person responsible speaks for very strange words.  Back on Earth, Wonder Woman helps with the cleanup of the Department of Metahuman Affairs and chats with Steve Trevor.  Then, a massive alien ship casts a green glow over the city and launches a bunch of eggs.  The ship’s leader goes out to attack, and some strange being pops out of one of the eggs.  Steve rushes back to be with Etta Candy, but she wants to go out and fight.  Wonder Woman finds out that Washington D.C. is surrounded by some strange, evil version of the light of willpower and does battle with fighters that launch from the ship.  The ship’s captain attacks the president and delivers an ultimatum to pick one hundred of the most accomplished women of Earth to go with her.  Later, as Wonder Woman continues the fight, the ship fires some sort of cannon that knocks her out.  Then, the leader of the ship reveals herself as Hippolyta’s sister and Wonder Woman’s aunt.

     I’m sad to say that this arc is not Simone’s best outing on DC’s top female superhero.  As most people who have read this issue will not, the prologue just reads like a normal Green Lantern Corps issue.  Mind you, Procanon Kaa did exist before Simone used him.  As for the rest, most of Wonder Woman’s introspective narrative captions are stuff that have been discussed already.  Plus, the D.M.A. was destroyed quite a long time ago.  That’s not exactly new.  As for the threat, it’s not as interesting as Simone’s other contributions to Wonder Woman’s rogues’ gallery, a.k.a. the Circle and Genocide.  That last panel is also rather Star Wars-y.  Plus, Wonder Woman’s aunt and Steve Trevor seem like they’re just hopping around rather suddenly because scene transitions are rather unclear.  It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect from Simone usually.  As for the art, of course Nicola Scott’s work is absolutely phenomenal.  Even Fernando Dagnino’s work is much better than usual, as all the characters are more sharply defined, and we don’t have any awkwardly large breasts hanging around.  He does choose some rather odd perspectives at time, like when Wonder Woman’s aunt kills the Secret Service guard, but it’s a lot better than his typical fare.  I’m sure this arc is wholly rooted in the entirety of Simone’s run on this title, and I’ll bet that the other two parts of the story turn out better than this.  Maybe Simone was just so excited to do this issue that she stumbled a little.  Again, it’s Simone, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

Plot: 7.7      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 7.9      Overall: 7.8

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