Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Wonder Woman #788 Review


Writer: Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad

Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

Cover Price: $4.99

Release Date: June 14, 2022

(This review is only for the main Wonder Woman story)

Wonder Woman isn't the worst book since Infinite Frontier began, but after a pretty good start, it has been a disappointment in both story and sales.  Unfortunately, it's not just this solo book that has failed to meet expectations.  The Trial of the Amazons event was awful and put a direct spotlight on the failings of the creative teams that continue to dig Diana and her Wonder Family a deeper hole to get out of.  Enough of that, though, since we are here to talk about the latest issue of Wonder Woman, and maybe this one will be good.  Fingers crossed...

This arc of Wonder Woman has been all about Cizko and his milk-drinking woman-haters club.  Unfortunately, Cloonrad hasn't done a great job setting up the how and why of any of this, so they use the lowest common denominator tropes and cliches to pound their point.  We get "Fake News"  and sexist slogans, but not much story to go along with it.

Cizko does have a plan, and while I like the team he has assembled, it all devolves into blowing things up to make Wonder Woman look bad.  To do so, he has Sweetheart (the Wonder Woman doppelgänger from the Mirror Dimension) push the triggers for the bombs,  but it's not to fool everyone.  So, why would Cizko put her in the crucial position of his plan?  There is no real reason besides showing that she hesitates because it's apparent that she will eventually turn on Cizko and his abuse.  That kind of surface-level storytelling has held this book back for over a year now.

During the big brouhaha, Dr. Poison poisons Steve Trevor, but that barely makes a difference.  Then, when she tries to do the same to Siegfried, she brakes her needle, but that seems to happen, so Cizko has something to bitch at her about.

The issue does end with a kind-of cool character joining Team Cizko,  but not much else is going on.  Sure, Wonder Woman is mad as hell and not going to take it, but it's hard to take anything in this book seriously, issue to issue.  

This issue is not the worse of the run.  I am interested to see who is behind Cizko and his nonsense, and I already said I like the team he has put together.  However, the story holds no weight and feels disconnected from the rest of the DCU.  Everything from Superman to Checkmate feels odd in this book.  Let's all try to forget about Cloonrad's ridiculous version of Deadman.  Hopefully, he is off trying to remember his actual power set!

The one bright spot is Emanuela Lupacchino's art, which is always outstanding.  I want to shout out to the entire art team for a great job which is the only thing keeping my overall score as high as it is.

Bits and Pieces:

Wonder Woman #788 slightly advances Cizko's Wonder Woman haters club plan but doesn't do so in a compelling way.  Instead, things that seem essential get discarded almost immediately, only to have the plot bogged down by nonsense.  The issue does look good but is such a dull read that I can't recommend it to anyone, not even Wonder Woman fans.


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