Friday, July 3, 2015

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #41 Review

Written by: Adam Beechen
Art by: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kevin Nowlan and Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Split Personality 

In my last review of Sensation Comics, I mentioned that I love this book because it's a chance for writers to throw caution (and continuity...and sometimes sanity) to the wind and write the Wonder Woman story they want to write.  Some use that as a ticket for camp, pure fun and sometimes it even gives them a soapbox to stand on.  Not every story hits the mark, but it's nice to have a place for them to exist.  That being said, it's even better when we get a different take on Wonder Woman that does hit the mark.  That's what we got in the first part of this two part story by Adam Beechen.  He showed that when the "fun" is over, there are real world consequences for those not wearing capes and masks. He also touched on the idea of what exactly makes a hero...or a villain.  I know that sounds like a lot of serious stuff on one plate, but the story and the retro feeling art of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez made it feel like it came straight out of the Bronze Age of comics and I liked it a lot.  So, it's no surprise that I couldn't wait to read and review this finale.  Was it a great ending to the story?  Let's find out...

Last issue ended with Cheetah (possibly) breaking out of custody on her way to a lower security hospital.  If there was ever a time when anyone could say "I told you so", it would be now.  However, Wonder Woman and her D.A. friend, Shawn, don't have time for such things.  Cheetah is running wild and while Diana tries to talk to her inner Debbie Domaine, it's not working.

Adam Beechen does a good job at continuing to explore the idea that Cheetah is less a villain and more of a woman suffering from a mental illness.  As the husband of a woman suffering from borderline and split personalities, it was as accurate a portrayal I've seen in a comic.  The anger that Cheetah showed towards Debbie and her family was something I've seen first hand.  That doesn't mean I liked everything in these scenes.  After spending an entire issue looking at the consequences of a hero/villain showdown, the destruction happening here felt a little off.  The worst part of it, however, was there was no real payoff.

That's actually the thing that bothered me about this issue as a whole.  While Beechen shows that Shawn is indeed a hero, the ending left me wanting more.  Cheetah gets taken away and Wonder Woman just looks dejected and is already convinced that this whole dance will happen again...and again...and again.  I give Beechen kudos for having the balls to not give readers a fairytale, Hollywood ending, but after such a good first issue, I wanted more.

The art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez was as great as the last issue.  His action scenes were exciting and the facial expressions helped tell the story.  I said it last week, but I really hope DC gets Garcia-Lopez more work in the very near future.

Bits and Pieces:

I wish I could say that this issue was as good as the first.  It's not, but only because Adam Beechen sets up so much but gives us little resolution.  It does continue with the "real world" feel of the story, but just left me wanting we missed part of the story.  While I was disappointed, the art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez was great and I'm still glad to have read this two-part story.  It just ended up being good when it had the chance to be something really special.


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