Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Wonder Woman #783 Review


Deadman's Party

Writer: Vita Ayala, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Artist: Skylar Patridge, Marcio Takara
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 18, 2022

Everybody will have runs of their favorite characters that they don't enjoy.  That's how things go, and while it sucks while it's happening, things constantly change, and hope springs eternal.   That is unless you are me and Wonder Woman!  For me, this book has never fully recovered from Greg Rucka leaving it early, four and a half years ago, and while there have been a few bright spots, things have been pretty dark and dismal.  Sadly, Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad took over this book at a crucial time, with Wonder Woman coming off as one of the most significant sacrifices in DC Comics history, but somehow making everything feel small and insignificant.  Then, when Diana returned to living on Earth, things felt even smaller.  Oh well, here we are, and I can only hope the next issue will be when it all turns around.  Is this that issue?  Let's find out...

Wonder Woman #783 opens with Dr. Cizco dubbing a new Shining Knight.  This should feel big, but it's obvious this is not Sir Justin or anything close, so it kind of falls flat.  Plus, we just were introduced to deep cut Image Maker and his Wonder Woman dupes (more on that later), so this feels like a bit of overkill immediately.

We then go off to see Wonder Woman and Deadman dealing with the mirror images, and I have to pause a second to talk a bit about the Deadman in this book.  Since their run started, Cloonan and Conrad have used Deadman as a continual deus ex machina.  To do this, they have played loose with his power set, demonstrating that they don't have any idea who this character is every step of the way.  Even the most simple glance at his Wikipedia entry would tell you that he can not reanimate a corpse, wondering if they just took the name "Deadman" literally and ran with it.  Listen, I know that every creator can put their spin on a character, but they shouldn't ruin them in the process.  They get as close to destroying Deadman as you can get without killing him.  Oh wait, they already did that too!  I'm talking about how they make it so Deadman can fight in his "ghost form," and everyone in the issue can see and talk with him.  What the fuck?!?!  Talk about taking the lazy way out!  Boston Brand is a ghost who has to possess people to function in the real world, but not here.  Here he is flying around like it's nobody's business and meeting and greeting folk with the best of them.  So why the hell would he ever possess anyone again?  Here he tries to learn the identity of the new, evil Shining Knight... but he can't because of their magical helm.  Oh well, maybe he can go off and mind wipe another group of people, even though that's not what he does.

So what else happens in this issue.  We find out Etta is working for Checkmate, Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman reunite (another small scene that should have been bigger), Cloonan and Conrad seem to think they came up with dupe as a short version of duplicate, and Hippolyta is badass and takes no guff!  So, not much at all!

Cloonan and Conrad keep trying to wow readers with obscure characters, but it's all becoming a jumbled mess of nothing.  Michael W. Conrad seems to take to his Twitter to make unfounded, jump through hoops claims about why reviewers dislike his book, so I want to clarify to him and everyone else why I don't - it's not a well-written book!  Everything from the pacing, the plot, and the character work is lacking.  I like the art, and the dialogue is not bad, but everything else is not good at all.

Vita Ayala continues the Bana-Mighdall backup, but there isn't much going on here except showing that not everyone thinks of Yara Flor as a threat.  It's setting up more of the Trial of the Amazons story, but it feels like there isn't much more to say before the crossover starts.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman #783 doesn't have a lot going on story-wise as we get another villain in an already crowded book.  Marcio Takara's art makes it all look good, but I can't find any reason to recommend it.


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