Relevant Content Week* rolls on with this look at the recently published Wonder Woman #4, from writer Allan Heinberg and the brother and sister art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson. I’m just kidding, they’re not brother and sister – the Dodsons are hot twin sisters who also pose for cheesecake calendars that are given away at auto parts stores. Seriously.**
I can tell you don’t believe me so let’s move on.
I am really not in love with the cover of this comic book. What's not to like, you ask? It's a classic Wonder Woman in bondage cover. It’s a classic convention of WW comics. Did you know that Wonder Woman has been tied up on a total of 573 comic book covers since her first appearance in 1941? I should know, I have 328 of them and I will not rest until I have the other 245 comics. It’s a thing with me. I’m not a big guy or anything, but stay out of my damn way if you have copy of Wonder Woman #219 because I will take that shit from you and strike you if you try to stop me! I will thrash you soundly about the shoulders with my cane!
Anyway, the cover.
I’ve seen better from the Dodson Twins. It’s difficult at a glance to tell what the hell’s going on. It feels too cluttered, busy. The focal figures of Wonder Woman, Circe, and an alligator from Fantasia are buried in a tangle of lines and washed out by the coloring. And the light blue tentacle or snake or whatever in the foreground is annoyingly distracting; it draws my eyes off balance and makes me crazy!
You see it, the blue tentacle? Now that I mentioned it you can’t stop looking at it, can you? The coloring really kills the cover for me.
Let’s talk about the comic itself. DC rebooted Wonder Woman after the reality-punching Infinite Crisis crossover series, giving the title a facelift with shiny paper and big name creators. Unfortunately, the hot new Wonder Woman book went from monthly to bi-monthly in no time and DC is announcing that the creative roster is changing after the first storyline wraps up. I'm no publisher, but that cannot be the best way to build momentum on a book.
Okay, enough cattiness. The story and art for WW #4? I can’t complain, really.
I’ve long been a fan of the Dodsons’ art. They produce the kind of clean, classically American comic art that I enjoy. I think of their work as sort of a hybrid of Adam Hughes and John Byrne’s art, and I mean that as a compliment.
The kitchen sink plot begins one year after Wonder Woman handed over her tiara and lasso to Donna Troy in the aftermath of Infinite Crisis. Don’t ask, I don’t have the energy to explain. The de-powered agent Diana Prince of the Department of Metahuman Affairs teams up with the dreamy secret agent Nemesis (it's nice to see Nemesis getting some page space) and gets tangled up in a plot orchestrated by her arch-enemy, the sorceress Circe that involves an army of classic Wonder Woman villains like Silver Swan, The Cheetah, and Dr. Psycho. What, no love for Red Panzer?
Have I mentioned the white jumpsuit?
(Oh, re: the "RRRRRT" word balloon in the panel above? Nemesis has really bad gas and is just farting like a yak off-panel.)
In a wink to the now legendary “Emma Peel” era of Wonder Woman when she traded her star-spangled panties in for a sleek white jumpsuit, Agent Prince gets a sexed-up white body suit and cute tinted glasses. She looks fabulous.
Despite my irritation at the book’s lateness, I actually am kind of enjoying the story, which reminds me of Loeb and Lee’s Batman saga Hush in the way it gleefully crams all the signature elements – all the cool stuff – into one crazy storyline. It’s got the invisible jet, magic lassos, the spinning-transformation thing, the secret identity – everything. It truly feels like a reboot.
Now if DC could get their shit together and publish it every month, we might have something.
There you go! Another post about a comic that has been published this decade instead of some forgotten 2nd-rate book from the Eighties! Truly, Relevant Content Week is a thing of wonder.
*I'm using an ancient Hebrew calendar in which weeks last ten days, BTW.
**Gah! No! I’m kidding. Don’t sue me, Dodsons. They’re husband and wife, not hot Sapphic bikini model sisters.