By Gail Simone (writer), Aaron Lopresti (penciller), Matt Ryan (inker), Brad Anderson (colorist)
The Story: Black Canary and Wonder Woman are shopping in Tokyo, waiting for their next meta-human cage fight as they hunt their prey. Diana continues to struggle with balancing the Amazonian and human cultures through her observations of Dinah. When they go back to the fights, they find a trace of their quarry, realizing that they’ve become prey themselves. This throws a whole mess of danger their way as they become separated and square off against long, long odds.
What’s Good: This issue opens up in media res and whether it is the internal world of Diana or the external world of the underground meta-human cage matches, the action and pace never slows. A lot of this is exemplified by Black Canary, whom Simone portrays as a sort of party girl of substance. The external action of stealth, subterfuge, ploy and counter-ploy work well and keep the pages turning, even as the villains slowly come into focus.
Gail Simone also continues to excel at character work. Diana is troubled, and Dinah is a perfect foil. Not a lot of respect is given to Wonder Woman in terms of monthly sales. I have two theories about that. One is that boys/ men (the majority of the readers) aren’t buying a female-led book. I don’t think it’s sexism; a big part of comic books are about hero-fantasy and if you’re a guy, you aren’t going to have hero-fantasies about being Wonder Woman. My second theory is that creative teams haven’t really portrayed her in the stature she should have as a member of DC’s Trinity (Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman). At least that second point is ending with Gail Simone, who has found a way to make Wonder Woman more powerful at the same time as she’s found more and more dramatic ways to hurt her. The key to doing it right is to expose what is true inside of Diana, and no one seems to do this as well as Simone– from all the strength and through the pain. The writer simply knows how to paint the classic, essential Wonder Woman.
What’s Not So Good: Nothing. Neither Simone nor Lopresti hit a false note. This is a strong story.
Conclusion: Gail Simone is a writer to follow; and with one third of the Trinity in her hands she’s going to continue to make waves.