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The World She Lost

August 6, 2010

J. Michael Straczynski’s ambitious reinvention of Wonder Woman begins in earnest with Wonder Woman #601, which continues off from the short story in Wonder Woman #600.  The Oracle shows Wonder Woman a vision of the past, when she lived on Themyscira with her mother, Hippolyta.  Wonder Woman insists that she be allowed to see how her mother died, so the Oracle shows her.  The island was overtaken by men in with guns, and Hippolyta had Diana sent away to protect her.  There were other survivors, Amazons whom Hippolyta had sent out into the world beforehand.  The mysterious villain captured Hippolyta and wrapped her in the Lasso of Truth to find Diana’s location, but she committed suicide by jumping into a brazier rather than reveal it.  The villain then wrapped the Lasso around his arm, burning it a bit, and left, offering the riches of the island to his soldiers.  Back in the present day, Wonder Woman says that she has to go kill all of the people hunting her and the other survivors.  The Oracle cannot leave the bridge, and she sends Diana off.  Elsewhere, some weirdos, obviously working for the mysterious villain, monitor Diana under the guise of an ice cream truck.  Diana hides on the top of the truck as they return to base.  There, she finds out that the big bad is coming in to visit, but that a pocket of survivors in Ankara, Turkey is under siege.  Reluctantly, Diana abandons the chance to kill her foe and jumps onto the plane sending additional troops to Anakara.  She remembers her guardians telling her that one day, she will be able to fly.  She falls asleep on top of the plane, and she sees flashes of her former life in the original timeline.  She also mentions that she’s had this dream before.  The plane arrives in Turkey, and Wonder Woman jumps off it.  There, she sees tanks and soldiers attacking what looks like a temple.

*sigh*  Okay, here goes.  Meh.  That’s my main reaction to this new direction.  Meh.  This new Wonder Woman is rather purposelessly violent.  I mean, I understand it under the circumstances, but that’s not really Wonder Woman.  That might be a different Wonder Woman, but it’s not the one I know.  I get that’s the point of this massive retcon story, but that takes away some of what I liked about her.  I do like that she’s more streetwise and generally more bad-ass.  But she’s lost the admirable qualities that made her… a hero.  Now she’s just a very vengeful woman with dreams of her old life.  The final battle on Themyscira was pretty awesome, I won’t lie.  But at the same time, I’m not that scared of this mysterious villain.  I’m not even sure if I’m that interested as to who he is.  Straczynski just doesn’t do enough to make him terribly frightening or awe-inspiring, and part of that is because of his decision to keep him in shadows.  The Oracle is an interesting character, to be sure.  And this isn’t exactly a bad story.  But I feel like this would be a better Elseworlds story.  I’m not really sure what Wonder Woman will get out of this in the long run, once she gets back to the normal world, aside from possibly the knowledge of what happened there.  In that way, I feel like it’s kind of Age of Apocalypse for Wonder Woman.  I don’t really think it justifies this massive of an in-story retcon.  Don Kramer’s art is pretty dang good.  His style, at least partially due to the coloring and inking, is really reminiscent of J.G. Jones.  Yet it’s a tad better because his faces seem to have less of a tendency to get uglier in closeups.  The art definitely gives this story a sense of epicness, even if the plot itself isn’t what it should be.  The issue was decent.  But my ultimate complaint is that I don’t feel like this first issue was spectacular enough to warrant all of these changes.  And truthfully, it has to be spectacular to make me and other fans of this series forgive said changes.  Maybe Straczynksi will prove me wrong in the end.  But this is not how I expected things would start out, even considering that I don’t like how this story came to be.  I hope for the sake of the future of Wonder Woman that things will improve, or else this will just have been a big waste of time and comic book space.  And seriously, what’s with the gum?!

Plot: 7.8      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 7.6

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 7, 2010 8:00 am

    It usually takes a good three or four issues before things start to happen so I’m still waiting to see if this new direction is going to take off or not.

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