Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Wonder Woman #766 Review

 The Truth Hurts

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Steve Pugh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 11, 2020

I haven't been the biggest fan of Mariko Tamaki's short run on Wonder Woman. I think it could get better, though, and that could start with Tamaki giving readers a better understanding of her Wonder Woman. Diana wanders in and out of scenes while others hog the spotlight, and we usually get Diana thinking about what others have said and done to carry on the scene. In a story dominated by the TRUTH, a lot of things have been too ambiguous. What can and can't the Lasso do (it changes a whole lot)? What is this Maxwell Lord tech (it also changes a lot)? Why are we wasting time with a scavenger hunt and avoiding the elephant in the room? That elephant is, of course, Diana snapping Maxwell's neck in Infinite Crisis. That's a laundry list of questions, so let's see what we get this week...
We open with Count Vertigo wrecking house (and Vlatava) with his upgraded powers. Now, he has vertigo powers (duh!), so why does this "Maxwell Lord Tech" allow him to control the rocks and soil and use them as a terraforming WMD? Who knows?!? Now, Maxwell Lord should know, right? I mean, he has teamed up with Diana because it is his tech that got stolen, yet he offers no insight into the tech itself, how it might have been altered, or how to shut it down. Nope, he's just hanging around and slipping away, which is easier now because we saw at the end of the last issue, Diana is blind. Speaking of that, why isn't Maxwell blind as well? How didn't he survive when the Invisible Jet crashed? The answer seems to be that the story needed that to happen.

Since Diana is blind, we flashback to her time on Themyscira when she was trained to fight blind. That's all well and good, but it doesn't play out here at all since a couple of pages later, the Lasso of Truth allows her to see shadows which are "visions", but that doesn't play out either.

When the Vlatavian Army attacks, Maxwell Lord slips away (again), and Wonder Woman fights them and Count Vertigo, which presents a couple of problems. First off, the last time we saw Count Vertigo, he was in jail at the end of the Green Arrow Rebirth run, and while he certainly could have gotten out since then, the idea of him ruling Vlatava is a bit sketchy. Tamaki makes it seem as if he is an evil ruler when it would make more sense if he has just decided to take over the country by force. Why? Because it's none of Wonder Woman's damn business if he is an evil ruler of his own country!

There is the stolen tech thing, though, but that's not well set up either. It seems as if Vertigo bought the tech at the auction that may or may not have even taken place, and while putting out a bounty on Maxwell Lord (why the hell would he do that?) could be a reason to bring him down, Tamaki doesn't bring it up this issue!!!! It all boils down to surface-level writing with no connective tissue and character research that couldn't have gotten past a quick Wikipedia search.

So, how does Wonder Woman save the day? She wraps the Lasso around her eyes and destroys Vertigo's tech with a sword swipe. Done and Done. Then she tells the Vlatavian army to pick better leaders, suggesting that they voted Vertigo into office, which makes all this bullshit even worse!

We then end with Maxwell Lord sending a message to Diana that he knows what she did (last summer?), and while that is what I've been waiting for, it just makes everything in this ridiculous scavenger hunt for tech even more meaningless than it already was.

This issue stunk! This run has been a whole bunch of nothing, and I hope that Tamaki either comes up with a meaningful story while Future State is going on or DC Comics gets someone who does when we come back in March. I know that Tamaki is an Eisner Award winner, but not for this book!

The art is good overall. There is a lack of backgrounds in a lot of the panels by Steve Pugh, but Romulo Fajardo Jr.'s colors pop and that makes up for it a bit.

Bits and Pieces:

This scavenger hunt for stolen Maxwell Lord tech has been filler from the start, and while Maxwell finally makes his move by the end, it doesn't make up for the ill-defined, laughable story before it. I had high hopes for Tamaki's run on Wonder Woman, but the TRUTH has been disappointing.


1 comment:

  1. You got a lot more out of this issue than I did, and I mean after reading this I read it again and I still pretty much forgot everything that happened.