Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wonder Woman #62 Review

Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Art team: Xermenico, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Pat Brousseau
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 16, 2019
Reviewed by: Jon Wayne

When G. Willow Wilson was announced as the new ongoing writer for Wonder Woman this past summer, much like Weird Science editor-in-chief Jim Werner, I was ecstatic. Truly, I had begged the gods-of-comic-creative-teams for her to make the jump from Marvel and was rewarded. However, her run has not quite hit home for me yet and by her own admission, Wilson didn’t figure out the voices for all her characters until a few issues in. Does that start here? Let’s find out.
We pick up right where the last issue left off, with Wonder Woman escorting the Prime Minister of Durovnia to a ceasefire meeting with the rebels, only to have Ares ambush them on their way. For a story arc that was kind of billed as a new era for Ares, he’s basically the same dude he’s always been and the generic dialogue for him doesn’t help. Plus, the Prime Minister spouting generic political jargon doesn’t do anything for me.

The fight scene that follows is just ok, but there’s a lot here that doesn’t really make sense. Aphrodite, you’re a goddess, why don’t you have the power to fight Ares? And Ares is the god of war – in Greek mythology specifically the god of violence and fighting war, not strategy (that’s Athena) – so is there a reason he wouldn’t know how to fight with a lasso other than to serve a plot point? Seems unlikely. After a couple pages, then Aphrodite decides to step in because… reasons? She has a back and forth with Ares, her former lover, and that’s that. A page later when Steve Trevor asks Diana, “… What just happened?” that could just be me asking G Willow the same thing.

Then we cut to the peace negotiations between the Prime Minister and the rebels, which should interest me but I don’t quite care. The earlier issues of the run never fleshed out the government nor the rebels, we were just thrown into the middle of the civil war much like Diana. While maybe that is a meta-critique by Wilson on what all wars are, I don’t know that! That’s just me guessing. Even if that is what she was going for, it falls flat. When the Prime Minister drops the line about “is it not better to make peace than to be pawns in a proxy war between gods and empires?” I got upset. A war between gods and empires? Is the Greek Pantheon at war with western civilization? Where is THAT story? That sounds like something I’d be interested in, and something Wilson could’ve dug into with the political parallels she’s trying to use here. But the reality is that isn’t the story she gave us and I’m left wanting it now that the idea is in my head!

The negotiations feel rushed – two sides that have been bombing the crap out of each other ending their feud just because one of them gives a speech feels thin, even for a comic book. Clearly, it is sped up to give us another Ares and Diana conversation, but that doesn’t do move the needle at all. We do end with a cliffhanger that sets up the return of Themyscira and the Amazons somewhere down the road, but it is mostly irrelevant to this current story. Also – total aside, whatever happened to those mythical animals that had taken Steve captive? They seemed to just disappear when he met up with Aphrodite.

Bits and Pieces
Art remains an improvement over what Cary Nord gave us in the first two issues – I’d really like him to be replaced full time, sadly solicits imply otherwise – but that doesn’t do much to cover up the fact that this first story arc in Wilson’s run didn’t do much for me. It pains me to say that because as I noted earlier, I am a huge fan of hers and wanted her on this book. I can see what she was trying to do with the political side of this story and posing the question “what is a just war,” but she didn’t spend enough time setting it up in the earlier issues, which led to this ending feeling abrupt and hollow. I still have faith, and my score reflects that despite what my review may have indicated – butt G Willow needs to really bring it in the next arc.


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