Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Back Issue Review: Wonder Woman #368 - The Lumberjack!
We learned recently that the first villain Supergirl will be facing on the Supergirl TV show will be The Lumberjack. No I consider myself an amateur historian for the DCU. I think I have a relatively comprehensive knowledge of these characters. But I was stumped ...
Who the heck is he?
Well it turns out that he was a one-issue wonder, seen only in Wonder Woman #268, a book that I didn't read during the doldrums of the Bronze Age. So I suppose that I shouldn't feel too bad about not knowing much about him. And given my compulsion to cover stuff here and expand my comic knowledge, I did the only logical thing. I bought the issue and figured I would review it here.
I don't know if I will be able to drop a lot of knowledge on you. But at least you will know what I know about the villain as he is in the comics. (Recent leaked audition tapes of the Lumberjack make it sound like the show's version is an alien.)
This is the concluding chapter to an arc called 'The Cartel'. So we are jumping in at the end. From what I can tell, Animal Man and Wonder Woman have teamed up to stop an organized crime leader called 'The Prime Planner'. The Planner seems to have the thought to organize all crime, leading the two heroes across the world, stopping villains from all the continents.
"Battleground:France" was brought to us by Gerry Conway, Jose Delbo, and Vince Colletta.
And quite the opening, Buddy rubbing suntan lotion on Diana's back. They have uncovered that The Prime Planner is looking to gun down Mr. Krispin, the local crime boss. Or, it may be that this is a ruse to lure Wonder Woman and Animal Man out into the open.
It turns out to be the former.
An amphibian tank emerges from the ocean and attacks Krispin.
Leaping into action (and changing into her costume by leaping through her lasso's loop!), Diana plays 'lasers and bracelets'. The tank and its crew are quickly repelled by the heroes and beat a quick retreat.
To avoid a second attack, Diana grabs Buddy, Krispin, and Krispin's daughter and heads to Krispin's compound via the invisible jet.
I like Jose Delbo's art. Here Colletta's inks seem to overwhelm the art. Nice action sequence though.
And here is our first glimpse at the Lumberjack.
It sounds as though the Planner has rolled out super-assassins throughout this arc, one from each continent.
The Lumberjack is the North American assassin. His origin is pretty simple. Lumber "Jack" is a sideshow freak, reviled by his fellow and hating them in return, until he was offered a way to gain revenge on a world that made him an outcast.
Seriously ... that is all we get on him.
Does he have super-strength? Some limited invulnerability?
Meanwhile Wonder Woman decides to extract any information she can from Krispin. And when he isn't forthcoming on his own, she lets the lasso do the heavy lifting.
"Le Premier Planner" told Krispin to leave France and give up his empire. Krispin refused leading to the assassination attempt.
And the three new super-assassins, The Lumber "Jack", Red Fang, and the Changeling show up at Krispin's house to try to finish the job.
Now you would think that Wonder Woman should be able to eliminate these three on her own and without breaking a sweat. But it turns out to be a fight.
Another thing I can tell you about the Lumber Jack is that his fighting style seems to consist only of huge swings of the axe.
Incredibly, Wonder Woman gets knocked unconscious by Red Fang, the martial artist! Hmm ...
And Animal Man can't do much on his own. With the Lumber "Jack" about the decapitate him, he has to escape by burrowing as a mole.
That's right! These three D-listers best Wonder Woman and Animal Man!
The assassins bring Krispin's daughter (as a hostage) and Wonder Woman to the Prime Planner's mobile headquarters, a massive submarine. I suppose the reason to bring Diana is to brag about his victory? Try to keep her as a hostage? It doesn't make much sense.
And it turns out the be both. The Prime Planner reveals himself as Morgan Tracy, the head of the UN security force!
I was thrilled to see that Wonder Woman was faking all along. It was all a ruse to bring her close to the Prime Planner. And victory is easy ...
Wonder Woman simply punches her way through the hull of the sub, sinking it.
I suppose I might have more context about this if I read the beginning of this arc. But I found it amusing that in one panel this guy is completely defeated. "She's won ... she's won ... she's won .."
Why couldn't it be "And I would have gotten away with too ... if it wasn't for the meddling Amazon!"
In all honesty, I showed you everything I could about the Lumberjack, a big man swinging a big axe.
Anything we see in the show will be more than this. And I assume the show Lumberjack has to have more to him than just being a circus sideshow freak. So why was he picked??