See that cover on the left? See the puzzle pieces coming together? That’s what this issue is. A puzzle coming together. When it was announced that J.M. Straczinski would be taking on this title I was rather excited. I had not read much Wonder Woman before but had loved the character in other media. The JLA New Frontier animated feature, JLI animated series and the full length Wonder Woman animated film were all strong offerings from DC and the characterization of the world’s premier female superhero was always exhilarating for me. I saw a renumbering and a new creative team as an opportunity to try out this title.
The series started very strong. Freight train plotting, strong character moments and clever imagery characterized the beginning of the run. All was well until it was announced the writer would change which caused delays in art and thus an art team re-shuffling. All of this resulted in a frustratingly bumpy ride for a few issues. But writer Phil Hester has righted the ship before docking. Issue 610 sees a Wonder Woman story back in full form despite inconsistent penciling.
The basic premise left behind by JMS is that someone has been messing with the time line or reality as relates to Wonder Woman specifically. The rest of the heros in the DC universe do not remember Princess Diana. In fact, there isn’t even Themyscira. The Amazons have been decimated and scattered to the four corners of the globe and it is a young Wonder Woman’s quest to reunite her sisters and track down whoever is responsible for this crime.
Last episode Dr. Psycho subversively made Diana aware that her reality had been altered. When she wakes up in the hospital with this knowledge Wonder Woman immediately springs into action and seeks even deeper knowledge about herself from Clotho, the weaver of fate. The Keres interrupt the meeting to attack Diana but the Hero defeats the villains with a weapon she wields masterfully, forgiveness. Then comes a confrontation with Giganta, Cheetah and a hypnotized Artemis. After subduing the attackers Wonder Woman then frees Artemis of her mental prison using the lasso of truth. I had never seen this unique item in this way and I very much like this expanded use of the lasso. The book ends by revisiting the first issue of the series. But this time Diana is not a naive girl asking the Oracle for a prophecy about her fate. No. Wonder Woman has taken control of her destiny and she has a message for the gods themselves: “I’m through asking the gods for anything. But if any should be listening, tell them this. I’m on my way to kill a few.”
Yes the book suffered art team switches which were admittedly distracting. Yes JMS dropped off the title early which was also distracting. And yes it took a while for the title to find it’s feet again. But boy am I glad I stuck with it! Now the momentum is regained, the plot has coalesced and the next four chapters promise to be an exhilarating ride with big reveals and epic throw down action! Here’s hoping Hester stays on after this arc ends and gets a shot at putting Wonder Woman in a top spot in the DCU, where she belongs.
Script 8/10 Pencils 7/10