Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #17 Review

Written by: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by: Gabriel Hardman
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: December 4, 2014

Pit Fighter

In the first issue of the "Dig for Fire" story, Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman sent Wonder Woman to Apokolips in search of two captured Amazons.  It was a more serious story than fans of Sensation Comics have been used to and ended with the apparent death of Diana.  Spoiler warning...she didn't die and this week's issue is a middle chapter in every way.  Dark and gritty, it sets up the grand finale next week with some neat character introductions and cool twists that end with Wonder Woman again on the run. It's hard to rate a digital chapter like this individually instead of as a whole, but hey, that's what this is all about, so here it goes.

This week's issue opens with Wonder Woman right where we left her, sinking in an fire pit.  Not the greatest place to be, but before you can swipe a couple pages, she's been picked up (captured?) by some sort of robot.  She finds herself in the underworld of Apokolips which is reminiscent of so many post apocalyptic sci fi settings of this sort.  The dregs of society, making a life for themselves by scraping by anyway they can, which includes sending robots into the pits to collect scrap metal...or Amazonian Princesses on this occasion.

I really like how Bechko and Hardman present these less fortunate people of Apokolips.  They don't rise up against Darkseid, they aren't even that inspired to help Wonder Woman.  Nope, they are fearful of getting in trouble and just want to survive for another day.  It may be depressing, but so are their lives and I applaud Bechko and Hardman for showing them in such a realistic manner.  I'm not saying they won't do more to help in the next issue, but the foundation of who and what they are has been laid out and it can only make anything that follows that much more heroic.  One of these scrapers does point Wonder woman in the direction of her captured sisters.

That's a good and bad thing.  Yes, she knows where to find them, but they are scheduled to be executed.  The rest of the issue gives us a first hand look at Darkseid, throws in a little mystery involving Lexcorp and ends with Wonder Woman in the middle of a daring, but not well planned rescue mission.  I am looking forward to seeing how it all ties together in next week's finale.

I enjoyed the story this week and Gabriel Hardman's art fits it well.  The gritty, dark and pencil heavy art emphasizes the dismal existence on Apokolips.  I wouldn't want to visit or live there and Hardman shows why with every panel.

Bits and Pieces:

As a middle chapter in a story, Sensation Comics #17 does exactly what it's supposed to, pushes the story forward and sets up an action packed finale.  This is not a fun story, but it is a very good story.  Wonder Woman fans looking for something more mature and "realistic" should enjoy what Bechko and Hardman are doing here.  I am looking forward to next week.


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