Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wonder Woman 606 Story by J. Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester Art by Eduardo Pansica, Jay Leisten, Marlo Alquiza, Wayne Faucher, Julio Ferreira

Synopsis and Review from Comic Book Resources:
I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of the choice to “reinvent” Wonder Woman yet again. I think Gail Simone did a very good job on the title, and in her exit, she left the character in a newer place than she had previously been. J. Michael Straczynski came along and the entire concept got a reboot. Then Straczynski hightailed it out of there and Phil Hester was brought in to work from what was left behind. At this point in the evolution of the character, Hester needs to grab the reins on this book and steer it out of whatever the hell it is soaking in right now.
 I see bits and pieces that are right, such as Diana fighting alongside her sisters and looking for answers, but I see other areas that are wrong, such as the appearance of a Minotaur who seems to be of sinister motivation. Truly this book needs to be sifted through and it is Hester’s task to do the sifting. It is clear in reading this book that Hester is trying to find the path this book has strayed from, but it is equally clear that a true map of that path might not have ever existed. The story jumps from scene to scene with little transition, and characters pop up seemingly out of the woodwork. 
To complicate matters more, Pansica’s art seems to favor sensationalism, pouring blood onto panels as frequently as possible and playing up the curves of the female characters over enhancing their strengths.

Cheesecake overpowers what could have been a chilling moment as Diana’s three (arguably) strongest foes rise from their rebirthing chambers. The level of gore and ketchup-like blood topping nearly every figure set in battle within these pages is just mind-numbing. I understand the need to establish Diana as a fierce warrior, but it is possible to do so without slathering the character in blood and having her do likewise to her opponents.

This is a sloppy book, the art wants to be better than the final printed page truly is. Eduardo Pansica’s got the talent and ability, but his final pages as just not detailed to Don Kramer’s level. Conversely Pansica’s drawings are not kinetic enough to be anything other than static. I’m sure with each panel, page, and issue, it is obvious that Pansica is growing, but he needs to determine where he is growing to in order to make his own odyssey a fruitful one.

The phalanx of inkers provides evidence that there is a quick handoff between writer and artist and that shows through with the massive lack of consistency between art and story. Early on, Diana is told to keep her left arm close to her side, as she has been run through with a spear, but moments later, Diana is using that arm as though there is no wound. Now, I’m not going to make any leaps and compare her to Jay Cutler, but to go from clutching the limp arm to your side to using it in the fever of battle as though it were unmolested does not add credence to consistency.

There is a sense of direction beginning to settle in on this book. The sense is here, but not the direction itself. Diana is still very much a puppet in her own title, but Hester is a good writer and he has some solid toys to play with here. I’m interested to see where this book goes once Hester gets it more fully under his control. A reliable artist would certainly help make this book more Hester’s own title. Hmmm. Maybe Hester himself could step in and multitask an issue, providing script and art. That would help to get it back on track, right?
My thoughts:
So scratch what I said about the last issue, Diana is still kind of blood thirsty and brutal.  That is just something I don't remember so much from when I read the series as a child,  yes she fought and got hurt very regularly, but I don't recall her being quite so blood thirsty and out for revenge.  She does she more feeling her, anger as well as caring and pain, but she is quick to order others around and does not accept warnings from others, which leads to the death of one of her teaches.  I am a little unsure of how old the characters are. Do Amazon live forever?  Are they immortal?  I didn't think so but perhaps they are.  The curves of the women who are brought out of some sort of rejuvenation tank that made them full of anger and hate and have no memory of their past lives are a bit out of control.  To quote a friend who was making a comment about a totally different context, "holy boobies".  These are some well-endowed, barely covered women wearing skin tight wet clothes.    Part of what kept me from reading these for so long was that I had been missing issue 607, somehow I missed getting it when it came out.  I finally ordered it on Ebay so that I could read up to where the series currently is.  The sad thing is I am not even sure if it is still going on or if it was one of the story lines that died out when things changed over recently.  I guess I'll see when I get there!

Story by J. Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester

Art by Eduardo Pansica, Jay Leisten, Marlo Alquiza, Wayne Faucher, Julio Ferreira
Colors by Alex Sinclair

Letters by Travis Lanham

Cover by Don Kramer, Alex Sinclair, Alex Garner

Publisher DC Comics

Release Date Jan 26th, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment