Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Wonder Woman #778 Review


Up Up and Away...

Writer: Becky Cloonan, and Michael Conrad
Artist: Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 25, 2021

I'd love to say that this book is hitting as much for me as it is for my fellow reviewers, but it isn't. Of course, everybody looks for different things in a book, and I can't speak for what others are into, but I like good characterization, a gripping and meaningful story, and excellent art.  The art has been the standout since the start of this Infinite Frontier run, but everything else has been lacking.  Janus has villain potential but is stuck in a hide and seek narrative, which makes the overall story not very compelling, and worst of all, the book doesn't have much for Diana to do.  This issue picks up the pace with a Magical Multiverse Tour that would make The Walrus blush (BTW, the Walrus was Paul), but does that make things better?  Let's find out...
(Note: I am only reviewing the main story by Becky Cloonan, and Michael Conrad)

I dropped the opinion that Diana hasn't done much in this book, and I am sure some of you may disagree.  So, I will use Asgard as a quick example of what I mean.  Diana needed to convince the Valkyrie's to get back to work, and Yggdrasil, the World Tree, was sick.  So, Rotatosk came up with a plan for Diana to trick Nidhogg to get the key to the Valkyries, but then Deadman had to hand Diana the key.  Diana then went to the Valkyries, but Thor agreed to give the Valkyries an extra day off while Diana slept.  You know, Thirsty Thorsday!  Yep, Thirsty Thorsday is now cannon.  Things haven't changed much in the other issues leading up to this one, and sadly, the song remains the same here.

The issue starts in the Phantom Zone, but like most locals in this issue, you never get a real sense of the place.  Sure, Conrad and Cloonan name drop Xa-Du and Aethyr, but not much more.  I had to laugh a bit when Aethyr showed up because I think they put him in here thinking they were playing with something clever that hasn't been seen or used in years, yet we just got him in Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics 2021 Annual a month ago, and Johnson did it better!  

Again, the biggest problem here is that nobody does much.  Xa-Du attacks our trio, but Aethyr arrives and sends our heroes away to chase down Janus.  Boy, that was easy enough!  Aethyr tells them he will deal with Xa-Du, and we have another "problem" resolved by someone other than our main character.

Now, I don't want to get too caught up in Diana jumping around from the Sphere of Gods to Earth-11 to the Phantom Zone and now the Fifth Dimension, but it makes everything an unexplained mess. So by now, I am just waiting to see where we go and the forced, lame way we leave.  I was not disappointed here.

Like the Phantom Zone, Conrad and Cloonan give readers the Fifth Dimension by throwing fan favorites Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk into the story with zero imagination and nothing at all to do.  Sure, Bat-Mite makes a personal play at Batman movie titles, and Mxy says "Vin Weasel" and hopefully references a Guns N' Roses album, but if those are the heavy hitters, there is trouble in River City.

They face Janus, but she jumps through another portal with Deadman, and they follow...to Gemworld.  Seriously, if you blink, you will not even know they were there, and unlike before, there aren't even any surface-level markers to be had here. Finally, after some shit-talk between Diana and Janus, another portal opens, and everybody makes their way through.

The issue ends with some sexy downtime talk with Diana and Siegfried in Prehistory Land before they have to fight giant insects and jump through another portal and end up in the blank space of Ascension.  That's where we get the cliffhanger of dead Deadman and Diana yelling to the skies like every cheesy action movie I have ever loved!

This issue is quantity over quality by a large margin.  It was all surface-level crap you could get from any Wikipedia entry with nothing to hook the reader.  The art was outstanding, but it couldn't elevate this nothing of a script for a story that feels like it hasn't done much at all but has taken so long not to do it.

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman continues to go places, see people and jump through portals to start the whole tiresome process again. At least the visuals are good, because this story has devolved into a long-winded, uninspired game of tag, and I need something more. 



  1. Michael Conrad and Becky Cloonan seem to write the most boring stories. They're not terrible or anything..just, blah.

  2. Every issue is worse than the last one. Diana doesn't do anything besides talk a lot. (Splice in the Revenge of the Nerds' "make one of your flowery speeches" scene here.) That isn't enough? Ok, let's send her to a random place that seems to have no relevance to the story. Still not enough? Let's start jumping around to the point you lose track of where they are because we spend one page somewhere and then go somewhere else. Is this an anthology? Is it trying to be channel chasers? Interdimensional cable? I wish it was! The art is really good though. But how is it that Siegfried is sexier than Wonder Woman on every page, including the One Million Years B.C. homage? Oh no, now deadman is... dead! I didn't see that coming! Heaven forfend, what shall we do? (Hand wringing.) I can't believe WW hasn't hit rock bottom yet, but I know it hasn't because there is no sign of this series getting any better, ever.