Comic Fodder

Weekly DC Comics Review – Wonder Woman 37

Wonder Woman 37

by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti

I tend to cover a lot of the week's issues in one post, but every once in a while, a comic comes out that is so bad, it deserves study. This is a case study on how NOT to do a comic book.

The cover is yet again reminiscent of the old let's-tie-her-up-by-a-man kind of theme, but isn't actually part of the story, violating one of the basic duties of a cover. The first page shows Diana waking up, and they try to make it seem like there's more by splicing her sleeping form into three panels, but that's just a flimsy attempt to disguise the fact that they don't have much going on here. The next page, they go for titillation, showing just a hint of her areola in the mirrored reflection of Diana, which only raises the question of how Disco-corny is Diana to have a mirror like that in front of her bed? WTF? Are we at Green Arrow's house or something?

Ares is back, and apparently can't be bothered to use his magic powers to fix his face. He's had it sewn up with shoe leather and what-not, purely for an alleged grisly effect upon the reader. It's pure visual theater, and kind of silly. You think Zeus or Apollo would be caught dead (pun unintended) like that? Maybe he's supposed to take pride in his scars, but I wouldn't be so proud if Diana dropped me so easily in one hit like that. It's cheap.

There is still not much happening, for even as Ares talks, he contradicts himself. He wonders aloud if he is dreaming, and perhaps he is the one who killed Diana... just before he stands and admits what really happened. Thanks for wasting our time with those senseless panels that convey nothing. The god of war has turned into the god of bad Freudian interpretations. He then contradicts himself further, as he declares how much she will suffer. Only in the next page he declares that she serves him the best, since she is always in combat with something or other. Well, if she's his best servant, shouldn't he give her a bonus? Why does he want her to suffer?

Ready for more bad writing? Persephone shows up to say, "She has returned!" By "she," Persephone actually means the entire horde of Bana-Mighdall Amazons that Simone awkwardly shoe-horned into a terrible issue of the other title she writes, Secret Six. Persephone corrects Hippolyta with a "They" as if Hippolyta was the one who used the wrong pronoun in the first place instead of Persephone. Who would have thought the day would come when the Amazons have suffered so much, they don't even have a good grasp of basic grammar anymore?

The contradictions continue as what's-her-name (the forgettable bald woman that they never bother to tell me her name so far, so why should I bother to pick up an older issue and look it up?), claims insult to the idea that Diana left three gorillas behind to defend Hippolyta. See, that honor is hers alone. So of course, the next thing she does is order that Hippolyta (the woman she claims to want the honor of defending) is to be bound and marked. Can't wait to see what she does to people she doesn't have the honor of protecting...

Wait, it gets worse. Diana puts on her costume and equipment in an awkward, out-of-order panel depiction that just screams to have the theme music from the Rambo movies playing, and isn't it so nice to know that her gorilla companions sleep the same way humans do, on a couch with a nice bed sheet to cover his body... which is already covered by the natural warm fur of a gorilla! And it's not patronizing at all, the way she pets his head as she goes by, someone intellectually advanced from the hidden gorilla city. I'm sure he would appreciate that if he were awake. Hey, at least she didn't show Diana feeding him a banana!

Diana goes to the island to take her mother away, and Donna Troy flies from out of nowhere to tackle her. Diana instantly knows (without any explanation how) of the effect that Genocide had on Donna, and that is why Donna is attacking her. No explanation as to how Achilles or the still-un-named bald woman managed to reach Donna and have her in position at the precise time that Diana would show up. It's all just the greatest, most wonderful coincidence, isn't it?

In the space of one page, Diana goes from thinking about how proud she is of Donna as a warrior, to chastising Donna for using the same tactic twice in a row. Well, which is it? Is Donna an awesome warrior? Or a mess-up amateur? Is this because Diana trained her poorly, or did she pick up her "bad habits" hanging out with the Titans? I can't remember any other comic that had so many contradictions going from one page to the next. It almost takes intent to craft a story as contradictory as this one has been, and it's not even over yet!

Somehow, again unexplained, Diana realizes that the presence of her magic lasso near Donna is what is causing Donna's aggression. Diana tosses her lasso in the ocean, and Donna immediately, magically, recovers and acts like a normal person. Finally, Hippolyta tells me on the second-to-last panel that the bald lady is Alkyone, and she married Achilles, who is walking around like a whipped puppy already, taking her orders. Way to proceed with that new storyline. You know, the one where Zeus decided the male warriors should be in charge now? That lasted for what, one issue?

Ug. This issue puts the Ug in Ugly.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.