Review Brew: Wonder Woman 39 & 40
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Marcio Takara
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr & Hi-Fi
Inks: Ray McCarthy & Carnero
Letters: Emanuela Lupacchino & Carmen Carnero
Covers: Jesus Merino & Alex Sinclair; Jenny Frison
Editors: Chris Conroy; Andrew Marino; Jamie S Rich
Publisher: DC Comics
So. Silver Swan went on a rampage, killing an entire hospital worth of people, including children. Diana goes to stop her and Jason’s caught in the middle of the mess. Sounds exciting, except, it isn’t. Everything about the Swan Song arc has been, to put it bluntly, trash. The ableism; the nonsensical villain that we’re supposed to liken to Barbara Ann but without the actual character work, personality, or depth of any version of Barbara Ann (especially in comparison to the most recent arcs for that character); the Jason storyline which has been all over the place: is he a jealous bad guy with a heart of slightly tarnished gold, the Loki to Diana’s Thor? Or is he flighty frat bro who needs to grow up and become who he’s meant to be? Do we care? The answer, at least for this reader, is no. No, I do not.
Very little about the last two arcs has made me give even the slightest of a damn about any of it. While I’m all for introducing new characters and new dynamics these last few issues of Wonder Woman have failed to make any of it interesting, or even palatable. In fact all it’s done is enrage me for so much wasted potential, of both characters and story lines. We’ve had dropped arcs galore; characters who are somehow dull as dirt yet try hard at the same time; and constant sidelining of our core four: Etta, Steve, Barbara Ann and, most galling, Diana. In fact the only good that’s come out of it is Grail. A character I’ve only passing familiarity with, she’s the most intriguing part of this entire series: smart, vicious and highly dangerous, she’s got shades to her that I’d love to see explored and I find her relationships with both Jason and Darkseid, as well as her connection to the Amazons, fascinating.
On the plus side? This book looks damn good. The characters are all distinctive, the fight scenes dynamic and the backgrounds are sumptuous. The entire artistic crew is putting in that work and it shows. I just wish they had a better storyline to service.
In the end, I’m seriously doubtful that I’ll be picking this book up voluntarily without some serious changes happening in the near future. I knew that one of my DC books had a more than even chance of dropping off in quality, because all things are cyclical, but dammit WW, I hate it had to be you.
2 cryo pods out of 5.