Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wonder Woman: The Circle TPB

I have always liked Wonder Woman, but rarely do I dig her comic. Gail Simone is one of my favorite authors, though, so I had high hopes for her run on the Amazon princess. I figured I'd like it. I did not figure that Themiscrya is guarded by giant sharks. Thank you, Gail Simone. :)
The run opens up with the status quo of Diana Prince working for the DEO and Sarge Steel. She's partnered up with Nemesis and when she's in her mortal form, Diana can't access her powers. I really like that Diana is trying to live a human life, but knowing you can always ring up your super-powers doesn't exactly put you in the shoes of a normal Joe. Heck, when Captain Nazi shows up, Diana's main reason she takes a beating for so long is so that Nemesis won't see her secret ID. Speaking of Nemesis, I had no idea that the budding romance between Wonder Woman and Nemesis was so realized. She actually gives him a courtship gift in this trade, really legitimizing their relationship.

There are two stories in this trade, and the Circle storyline is far more interesting than the backup involving Khunds and GLs. In the Circle, we meet the honor guard of Diana's mother. These four women are loyal to the point of obsession, ladies who took the security of the island so seriously that they saw the "birth" of Diana as a horrible threat to the Amazonian way of life. It's interesting, these ladies are clearly fanatics, but I can't help but feel bad for them. Simone does a great job of giving them a real argument, even if it is based on craziness. These four powerful Amazons end up mixing it up with Diana who is also facing down an army of neo-Nazis with Captain Nazi's power set. Diana cleans house, of course. The leader of the Circle ends up committing suicide rather than be taken, and I must admit, it is the most dramatic of ways to go; death by shark. The major fallout of this story is that WW vowed loyalty to a new deity of wind. Due to some outstanding rule set by the Greek gods, WW couldn't get back to Themiscrya, it seems. I don't really know anything about that, but I'm interested to see where her change of loyalty takes her.

I think the momentum of the Circle storyline is diverted a bit when Etta Candy (an old-time character, apparently) and WW are drafted into a galactic conflict. The story is ok, but I wasn't as invested as I was in the more personal story.

Terry Dodson handles much of the work in this trade, with Ron Randall and Bernard Chang each chipping in for certain chapters. Dodson's work is stunning, of course, and so the others suffer by comparison. The other artists are fine, of course, but it is tough to be compared to someone who can mix cheesecake and power as well as Dodson does. I'm thinking the package will look better once a consistent artist takes over in the next trade.



Mart said...

Gail's Wonder Woman has many good points but for me the Nemesis 'romance' isn't among them. I'd say the courtship was anything but - you can't just hand someone a bit of fruit and claim a relationship. We never saw a friendship develop, no real dates, no quiet time - just declarations. It'll be interesting to see what you make of it, as the trades go on.

Timbotron said...

Yeah, I hadn't read any WW since the initial Heinberg relaunch, so I figured maybe I had forgotten how serious the two were about each other. Guess not!