Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Wonder Woman #761 Review

Head Games

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli, Alejandro Sanchez, and Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 25, 2020

Mariko Tamaki's run on Wonder Woman has started a bit slower than I had anticipated, but the mind-control mystery has intrigued me.  Plus, ending an issue with Diana thinking she is fighting parademons when they are actual soldiers was pretty damn cool!  Sure, I want a little more explanation of the history we are playing with between Wonder Woman and "Max" Lord (I hate that), but I can put that behind me once we get to the story's meat.  Do we get there this issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a 60th birthday party for some rando in Arizona.  Everything seems fine until a phone-selfie sends the birthday boy mind-controlled and running off to fight an imaginary battle.  Since we say a little girl take a selfie with Diana before her troubles, we can assume that is the delivery system for the mind control, even if we still don't know who is behind it all yet.

We check in with Diana then, and while she is being looked after by Etta, she is not well.  While she tries to convince everyone she is fine, she knows that's not the case, and when we switch to her POV, we see how bad it is.  Whatever is still affecting her might just be cycling through her biggest villains as she now sees Etta as Cheetah!

It all leads back to a phone app connected to Lord Industries, but not something Maxwell is involved with personally.  That's the in to get the Wonder Woman/Maxwell Lord team-up that I was hoping to see.  Tamaki also ties in the two big storylines involving Maxwell since Rebirth and uses them to explain the villain's recent change of heart.  

Not everything is great, though.  Why doesn't Wonder Woman put the lasso around herself to see the lies around her?  That's a usual move for her, and I'd like to know if it would work.  Also, she has the lasso around Maxwell, yet keeps wondering if she can and should trust what he is saying. 

The issue ends with the shit hitting the fan, and Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord joining together to save themselves and the planet.  We then get to see the evil behind all this mind control nonsense, and since it is the only other person introduced in the run so far, it is not a real shocker.

We get some answers in this issue, and while I am happy for that, it all makes this arc seem a bit silly so far.  I hope that Tamaki doesn't think anyone will be surprised by the cliffhanger because it was so obvious.  I am not saying it was a horrible reveal, but it wasn't great either.  The art in the issue takes a bit of a downswing with Carlo Barberi jumping on, but is not bad by any stretch.  Everything in this issue works against the scope of the story.  Mainly, having a phone app and a character we hardly know as the big bad is less impressive than just being Maxwell Lord.  

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman #761 isn't a bad issue.  We get some solid motivation from Maxwell Lord and big answers to what has been going on.  The problem is, those big answers make the story feel smaller, and while I am still enjoying this first arc by Mariko Tamaki, I need a bit more to recommend it thoroughly.



  1. Thanks for the review Jim. Honestly, I was surprised the villain wasn't the bunny. I'm not joking, I really thought the bunny was behind it all, and would be either a God or evil spirit in disguise, or an evil rabbit. To be fair, my expectations for this series were quite low.

    What's weird is that Tamaki keeps using "Max Lord" throughout these issues but then has Diana refer to him as Maxwell Lord again for a split second in a single narration box right before they get on the plane and never again. It feels out-of-place. I wonder if she'll flip back and forth or just revert back to calling him "Max" in the next issue.

    1. The Max bit annoys me, but it does bounce in and out at times. I still think it's the bunny!!!!

    2. I'm not counting the bunny out either. They love showing that bunny a lot, it can't be for cute factor alone. Tamaki's going to use that bunny for something. I can feel it.

    3. You might be on to something there. The mastermind's eyes are different than they were before and are now the same color as someone who is effected by the mind control. Tamaki could be trying to fake us out.

  2. Well Jim, thanks for the review and I do agree with the score. This thing is beginning to pick up speed for me and I look forward to the next issue. The art is a bit off but that may be because Mikel Janin was killing it earlier. In regards to this issue feeling a bit small, I admit I don't mind. I rather have a solid ground for a story to leap from than a shakey cliff that will collapse around it. Also, that "Max Lord" thing still bugs me.
    That being said, I called the mastermind! *Fist pump* Although, ozwoods may be right about the bunny...

  3. The revelation of the "mastermind" is very predictable. So predictable that I am disappointed in it. I was really hoping for more gravitas than a kid with a pet bunny. Add this to the pile of uninteresting WW stories. And how much do you want to bet that Diana gets on her knees before the end of this story and begs Emma to see the error of her ways? If I wrote this, I would give Diana a new power called the "Bitch slap" and she would be giving them out like Halloween candy!