By J. Michael Straczynski & Phil Hester (writers), Don Kramer & Lee Garbett (pencils), Drew Geraci, Robin Riggs & Trevor Scott (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Travis Lanham (letters)
The Story: Diana finally learns the secret of Nemisis, and faces one final battle with the darkness inside herself.
The Review: It’s a shame that most of Odyssey has been such a gigantic cluster–this really is a very strong issue. Unfortunately, it is dragging the weight of 13 other issues full of retcons, confused storytelling and character shifts behind it. The weight is such that even Wonder Woman herself can’t shoulder the burden, and so the storyline crawls across the finish line gasping and wheezing. What could have been a triumphant exclamation point and capstone on Diana’s 600+ issue career instead just leaves me sighing in relief. Odyssey is finally–FINALLY–over, and I couldn’t be happier. Love the DCnU reboot or hate it, it’s hard to imagine it doing much more harm to poor Diana than these 14 issues already have.
Continuity and character nightmares (which I’ve already pounded into a fine powder at this point) aside though, this issue does contain a lot of what makes Diana one of my all-time favorite superhero. The end sequence in particular is absolutely triumphant, and left me grinning and satisfied in spite of the 300+ pages of confusion that preceded it. It was more of a meta-textual farewell to the DCU Diana than it was a logical storyline conclusion, but at this point I’ll take anything I can get. And it WAS lovely–I’ll be keeping Hippolyta’s words to Diana (as well as Dian’s final words to us, the reader) close to my heart as we take the plunge into the DCnU next month. As annoying as it can be to have characters speaking lines of dialog that are pretty clear author-insertion, I appreciated Phil Hester’s message a great deal.
Of course, the art team is still an absolute mess on this issue (“how many DC artists DOES it take to change a lightbulb?”), and–as is to be expected–that means the art is still a mess as well. There are some wonderful individual sequences, but the visuals as a whole are bland, un-detailed, and oddly proportioned in several places. This problem has plagued the book from the beginning though, and it’s no surprise that it persists into the final issues. Of all the things I’m looking forward to in the DCnU (HOLYCRAPBATWOMANONGOINGTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!11!!), getting a solid and consistent art team on Wonder Woman is the thing I’m looking forward to the (second) most.
Conclusion: A solid issue when taken on its own merits, but the whole thing is dragged under by the enormous weight of the continuity mess trailing behind it. Still, the ending is very good and serves as an appropriate send-off to Diana’s DCU career.
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