Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Wonder Woman #771 Review


Tree Hugger

Writer: Jordie Bellaire, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Artist: Paulina Ganucheau, Travis Moore
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: April 14, 2021

I liked the first issue of Wonder Woman a whole lot.  I always like it when we look at a different pantheon of gods and coming out of Death Metal, the mystery of what's going on with Wonder Woman is intriguing.  So, is this second issue just as good?  Let's find out...

I will start by saying that with the wow moment of seeing Wonder Woman in Asgard behind us, this issue didn't have the overall impact for me that the first one did.  It's not bad by any stretch, but it didn't hit me like the first.  Plus, Cloonan and Conrad appear to be going into a slow-burn mode, setting up bigger things down the line.

The issue opens with Wonder Woman questioning why Thor is such a big oaf who concerns himself with wine, women, and song more than the fate of his fellow warriors and Asgard itself.  Thor laughs it off and tells Diana to chill, and while I like Thor being Thor, I love what Cloonan and Conrad are doing here.  You see, the fun of seeing different pantheons goes beyond the fan service moments of seeing Thor in a DC book. Gods behave differently, and pantheons care about different things.  While it seems like Diana would fit right in with Thor and the Asgardians, they are not the Greek Gods she is familiar with, and she is a stranger in a strange land here.  She doesn't know who to trust (something Thor points out) and doesn't even know everything about herself.  That's what I am enjoying in this story so far.  Of course, Diana is a hero who can't just sit around while trouble is afoot, and so she goes off with Ratatosk to save everyone - the Valkyries, Yggdrasil, Siegfried...everyone.

While there is only a little of the "voice from beyond" trying to remind her of what she truly is (my bets are on it being Deadman or Phantom Stranger), there are other mysteries to solve.  Things in Asgard continue to be wonky, but the big moment is when Diana comes face-to-face with one of her "bigger" villains.  It shocked me initially, but it also made me smile at how on the nose it was.  Plus, it starts unraveling a bit of the who, what, and where of what has been going on.  There still is a ton to figure out, though, especially with Diana herself.

The rest of the issue leans more to the Norse myth side of things and involves Níðhöggr, the serpent who gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil, and a quest for the key to finding the Valkyries...literally!  It plays out like a fable or fairytale and ends with Diana and Ratatosk punking Níðhöggr.  It's not an "oh my god" cliffhanger, but it does have me wanting to see what happens next, especially after Thor's warning earlier.

The book continues with the young Diana backup story by 
Jordie Bellaire, and while it's cute enough, the first two chapters haven't convinced me I need to care about it much.

Wonder Woman #771 is a bit slower-paced than the last issue, and while I still enjoyed it, I hope things pick up a bit next issue.  The thrill of having Wonder Woman in Asgard has already worn off, so I need the story to do some more of the heavy lifting.  While I am interested in her saving Asgard, I am more interested in finding out how she got there and what happened to her memory.  Hopefully, Cloonan and Conrad give us more of that next issue.

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman #771 is a fantastic-looking book that still has me interested in what's going on.  Sure, the thrill of seeing Thor and Asgard has faded a bit, but the mystery of what is happening to Asgard and how Diana figures into it is intriguing.


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