Thursday, June 11, 2020

Bullet review: Wonder Woman #756

Last week Wonder Woman #756 came out and continued a very solid run on the book by Steve Orlando.

For me, Orlando has brought a sort of classic feel to the book again.

To start, Wonder Woman is talking a lot about loving submission a lot in this book. Gone is the 'sword and shield first' attitude that has permeated Diana for what feels like forever. Loving submission was a main topic of the original Marston run. I have always liked Diana being an ambassador first, warrior second. So this works for me.

Second, in an Event Leviathan quasi-crossover, Orlando reintroduces a version of Paula Von Gunther. Von Gunther was another major villain from the earliest days in Wonder Woman comics. So this also feels very classic. Adding the wrinkle that she is somehow a daughter of the Valkyries and looking for revenge against the Amazons adds a threat level the prior purely human Von Gunther sort of lacked.

So I have been enjoying this. Add in some Donna Troy and I think this is a winner. In fact, Troy is why I am bullet reviewing this. More on that at the bottom

On to the book.

Von Gunther, now the Warmaster, has formed a Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. And she has given Diana an impossible decision to make.

Open the portal to Themyscira so the Horsewomen can fight the Amazons. Or keep the portal closed and let the Horsewomen run roughshod over Earth and mortals.

Paula is a tough opponent, armed with a magic spear which can harm Diana. But Wonder Woman is standing firm.

That last panel, Diana standing defiantly ... 'Do you wish to continue the conversation?' ... is pretty boss.

Meanwhile, a couple of the Horsewomen are facing off against Donna Troy.

First though they try to recruit her.

After all, Donna has been through a lot. Remember, she was recently one of The Infected, fighting against Wonder Woman and under the thrall of the Batman Who Laughs.

But it turns out that Donna isn't having any part of that. And using her own magic lasso in a battle of wills, Donna is actually able to defeat these juggernauts.

And then things take a turn. It looks like Warmaster and her most powerful Horsewoman Genocide are going to smash their way into Themyscira. Diana is going to be buried under a mountain stopping her from quickly joining the fight.

And then who should show up the help? Donna Troy.

Look at this page. Two allies, even with a semi-troubled past and a very tumultuous recent past, are smiling when they see each other. They clasp hands as allies.

And while Donna says the two should have a long talk when things have settled, Paula is a bigger and more imminent threat.

And so we get the end splash page.

Two Wonder Women standing together and getting ready to join the fray as partners and heroes.

Okay. So why am I reviewing this?

Well, in my review of Supergirl #41 I wondered what was going on with the other Infected. After all, Supergirl is still struggling with after effects of her infection. She is seeing things, bashing through homes, and being attacked by the government.

Yeah ... I know ... I am picking that scab. Supergirl being mistreated by DC Comics is the norm.

But it stings even more when I read this issue. Here we are, in the same month that Supergirl #41 came out and Donna is perfectly normal. She is powerful enough to defeat two Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. She is able to help Diana. And she is welcomed by Wonder Woman.

No hallucinations.
No acting crazy.
No distrust by the military.

Donna is on top of her game here. Confident. Independent. Strong. Heroic. And missed by her friends.

If Donna can act like this right out of the gate of Hell Arisen, why is Supergirl still struggling?

There is no reason.

Other than someone in DC thinks this is how Supergirl should be portrayed.

That's right, the star of a television show is dragged through the mud while Donna Troy gets an almost showcase issue to let us see how awesome she is despite recent events.

Kudos to Steve Orlando for this storyline and for immediately redeeming Donna.

If only Supergirl got the same treatment.

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

You are so right. Perfect justification for a bullet review for Wonder Woman!

I mentioned in comments to your review of Supergirl #41 that in the previous WW issue, Donna was busy saving kids from a burning building. She didn't merely "resist" the appeals of the Horsewomen - she was never even tempted.

That's a hero. It's about time she saw some rehabilitation. (She was doing better with Titans, but that title was cancelled. The Titans are apparently still "out there" somewhere, getting a panel in some other book once or twice a year.) Donna Troy fans have had to suffer for years. Probably she's had it worse than Supergirl, and did she ever even have her own book, or only appear on teams? (Even Wonder Girl had a mini-series once.)

Orlando also treated Supergirl well when he wrote her. He has his writing quirks, but it seems he writes our heroes as heroes who know their values and overcome challenges while remaining true to them.

I was disappointed by the plot point you described as taking "a turn." The threat was that Paula would destroy Boston unless Diana opened a portal, but then... never mind. We got the portal open all by ourselves! Guess we must have always had that ability. See ya!

Also, while almost all titles have finally reached the promised 22 pages (took them more than a year to achieve it), this issue barely makes it to 20 pages, concluding with a splash panel; a 2-page double splash; and a 4th page that is very close to a splash panel itself. Orlando apparently ran out of plot for this installment of the story.

Here's an idea - use the extra space to flesh out and clarify that "turn" - come up with a side-story that shows how they discovered the ability to open up the portal themselves. So it doesn't make Paula's threats and her attack on Diana look like a stupid and risky strategy.


Anonymous said...

DC Has a culture that encompasses "Supergirl Hatred", lets be honest. I will bet anyone there are senior creatives at DC Comics who hate the fact her show is a success on the CW and she's still a factor in various animated cartoons.
What else explains the fact that Wonder Girl, a distinctly secondary figure in the Wonder Mythos and a stalwart of a Team Book gets such respectful treatment while Supergirl, who has been headline her own titles on and off since 1969, is treated so poorly?
I'm on the brink of dropping DC entirely, I've been giving them my money for almost fifty years, and I have NOTHING to show for it....the least I can do now is stop paying creatives who think I am their hostage.


Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

Anj > did you read the digital comics of superman, batman, wonder woman, aquaman and flash ?

I read somewhere that Supergiel and Starfire are honorary amazone. It's always true ? why have we never had a story wither supergirl, starfire and the wonder girls ?

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