Monday, March 21, 2016

Wonder Woman '77 Chapter #18 Review

To Serve Man

Written by: Trina Robbins
Art by: Cat Staggs, Laura Martin and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: March 17, 2016

I have loved this book since it started and while I can never understand DC's shuffling schedule for it, I hope others are enjoying it as well.  This chapter is a one-shot by Trina Robbins who was the first woman ever to draw Wonder Woman in a comic (1986's The Legend of Wonder Woman), so I was looking forward to this issue.  Now that I've read it, is it good?  Let's find out...

The issue opens up in the small South American Country of Porto Dorado where Congressman O'Brien is investigating a communal farm led by Reverend Mike Brown.  It's a very cold opening and while Robbins eventually tries to get the reader up to speed, I was still a bit confused about the particulars of what was going on at first.  Basically, if you get weirded out by the Reverend, don't trust his hippie commune and don't ask too many questions about why Diana Prince is there, you'll be fine.

The story continues as the Congressman doesn't trust the Reverend further than he can throw him and Diana agrees.  We then see that there is plenty of reasons to jump on that trolley as it's revealed that the Reverend and his inner circle are aliens along the line of V or the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  I can't say that is any sort of shocker, but the way this story was told really threw me off. It's so disjointed and scenes don't flow into each other which makes it a chore to read.

The Reverend's plan is kind of revealed and he gathers his "followers" on a flying saucer, but Diana gets away and quickly turns into Wonder Woman.  She grabs onto the ship as it takes off and then is suddenly fighting the aliens...who are in their human form...and then are back looking like aliens.  It's all very confusing and again, doesn't have any real flow to it.  It ends with Reverend Mike falling to his death which ends the mind control he had on the humans.  The issue ends with the other aliens heading off to justice and a declaration of love from the Congressman and his aide.

I would love to say that I liked this issue as Trina Robbins is such a big part of Wonder Woman's history, but I can't.  It's just not very good.  The whole commune thing fits the era nicely, but nothing is developed here to make the reader care about the story or the characters.  It just is all thrown at the reader with little explanation or transition which gives it a very odd pace and ends up just being confusing.

I am a fan of Cat Staggs and her art here is good enough, but it can't rescue what is going on.  In fact, there are a couple parts that it might even hinder it.  The biggest faux pas is when the aliens show their true intentions and the angle Staggs chose to show the scene just added to the confusion.

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman '77 is one of my favorite digital titles, but I'd suggest skipping this one shot story.  It's a shame because writer Trina Roberts is a big deal in the history of Wonder Woman, but this story just wasn't very good at all.  I wish I could recommend it, but I can't.


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