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Everything Changes

July 16, 2010

It’s Wonder Woman #600, and it’s time for Wonder Woman’s massive in-story retcon that will completely change her world.  But first, we get a few tribute stories from some major writers and artists, as well as some great pin-ups, as well as an intro by Lynda Carter.  In the first story, Wonder Woman and a bunch of relatively new female superheroes (the oldest being Question, a.k.a. Renee Montoya, Dove, Stargirl, Ravager, and Batgirl, all creations of the 1990s, and Supergirl, the original version of which is even older) face off against robotic Sirens created by Professor Ivo.  Afterwards, Wonder Woman goes to the college graduation of Vanessa Kapatelis, the unfortunate former Silver Swan, and Wonder Woman congratulates her.  In the next story, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, and Cassandra Cain defeat Egg Fu, and Wonder Woman gives Power Girl advice with her cat.  In the third story, Wonder Woman and Superman rescue a crashing plane, then defeat the terrorist Aegeus, who wields a lot of weapons from Greek mythology.  In the fourth story, Wonder Woman fights a bunch of mysterious guys with guns in suits while two mysterious narrators talk about her.  She sees one girl who happens to look a lot like her as a child, and as she chases after the girl, she starts to disappear, and light envelops her.  In the final story, by the new creative team of J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer, the new Wonder Woman fights some guys in suits with guns (huh…), then escapes when the person controlling them sets off explosive devices attached to them.  She meets with a bunch of strange people wearing hoods and insists that she get the chance to see the Oracle.  She meets with the blind Oracle, who informs her that everything was not as it was, that someone who supplies and controls a massive number of cronies like the ones she faced, changed her past and brought them to where they are now.  And she hints that person may be a god.  Then she shows Wonder Woman a vision of Themyscira, what she lost.

Well, those stories were all over the map.  Naturally, Gail Simone and George Perez’s story was absolutely great.  For one, it was great to see all these younger superheroes drool all over Diana.  Even if Professor Ivo’s robots were more than just a tad ridiculous.  It reminds us all just what position Diana occupies in the female superhero community.  And the scene with the Silver Swan was really touching.  It’s a great cap to Vanessa’s storyline, as well as a great cap to Simone’s run on the title.  The Amanda Connor written and drawn story was nice, even if Power Girl was as much the focus as Wonder Woman.  She definitely instilled the right amount of gravitas in Wonder Woman, and she made Power Girl seem less ridiculous than how she acted in her ongoing series.  Maybe Connor should have written that too…  Plus, I like just about anything with a cat in it.  Louise Simonson and Eduardo Panisca’s story was the worst of the five, both storywise and artistically.  Aegeus is a relic from before Crisis on Infinite Earths, and in a lot of ways, it was written in the style comics were written in before then too.  So it wasn’t that exciting, and Panisca’s art was fairly bland.  The Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins story just didn’t make any sense.  My guess is that it was supposed to show what happened just before the change occurred, but we won’t get it until we find out who was behind it and what happened.  Plus, Kolins definitely doesn’t fit Wonder Woman.  He gives her the right amount of muscle, like all the best Wonder Woman artists, but his style isn’t right for her.  Then, there’s the most important story of all.  I’ll admit, the Straczynski and Kramer story was interesting.  Again, I’m not a fan of her new costume, and I think that thing with her “signing” her work with the imprint her gauntlet leaves is silly.  But you can already tell how different a character she is based on how violent she was in the fight and how she spoke to those hooded people.  Plus, the Oracle seems like a very interesting supporting character.  Don Kramer’s art was really quite good though, and its darkness really helps get the message across that this is a different Wonder Woman.  So, I’m still cautious about this upcoming new status quo, considering how ridiculous the mechanism it took to create it was, and how odd Wonder Woman now looks.  Especially with the gauntlets and the shoulderpads.  But hopefully it’ll be a good story anyway, and Straczynski is writing it with the intention of eventually getting back to how things used to be.  Let’s see just how good his take on the most important woman in comic books is.

Plot: 8.2      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 8.2

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