By J. Michael Straczynski & Phil Hester (writers), Don Kramer & Travis Moore (pencils), Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong & Drew Geraci( inks), Pete Pantazis (colors) and Travis Lanham (letters)
The Story: In a long bout of desperately needed exposition and explanation, Diana finally learns the details of, and the motivation behind, the Nemesis’s plans for her. But with the truth finally revealed, can Diana hope to overcome her old enemy without losing herself in the process?
What’s Good: Huh! What an odd feeling. I just read a really good issue of Wonder Woman. You’ll have to forgive my dazed reaction here–it’s been quite a long time since this has happened. Although this issue is extremely talky, and features one of the largest single infodumps in recent memory, I am actually okay with that. Information and explanation is what this headache of a storyline has needed for a long time. Would this have worked better if this information was parceled out more, and hinted at over the course of several other issues? Sure, but at this point I’m just happy to finally have a solid grasp on what’s going on, and what the goals of the major characters are. Fortunately, the exposition is delivered on the back of a very nice fight scene and some interesting pseudo-philosophical musings that break the back-story up a bit.
What’s Not So Good: We’ve been over (and over and over) the ongoing consistency issues presented by having such an enormous artistic team. Even if each of them did their absolute best work, it would be well-nigh impossible to avoid jarring the reader with different styles. Unusually for me, though, the biggest issue I have with the art in this book is the inking. Perhaps my awareness has just been heightened by the crash-course in the particulars I got from Joe Weems at SDCC, but the first thing that jumped out at me on seeing the pages were how incredibly thick and overpowering a lot of the ink work is. Rather than adding extra structure and detail to the pencils, the ink here feels blocky and suffocating to me. That aside, though, the fight scene that comprises most of this issue was quite strong, and featured several very nice splash pages.
Conclusion: This is the Wonder Woman issue I’ve been waiting for since “Odyssey” began. It will in no way change your mind about the storyline itself if you’ve determined it’s not for you, but if, like me, you’ve been following dutifully along (no doubt gnashing your teeth in frustration the entire way), this issue may help alleviate some of that irritation. It took 13 issues, but we finally have a fully formed plot and motivated villain! Huzzah!
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