Friday, September 23, 2011

Wonder Woman #605 Story by Phil Hester, J. Michael Straczynski Art by Don Kramer, Eduardo Pansica, Daniel HDR, Jay Leisten, Marlo Alquiza, Wayne Faucher, Eber Ferreira

Synopsis from Comic Book Resources
For those who haven't been in the loop, after four issues (plus a prologue in "Wonder Woman" #600) we've had a slight writer shift on "Wonder Woman," as the remainder of J. Michael Straczynski's planned year-long story is now being written by Phil Hester, based off of Straczynski's notes and outline. And for those who haven't read it? While this isn't intended as a slam on Straczynski, I think this is already a big improvement.

Unlike the previous four issues of "Wonder Woman," this new issue feels more relaxed and more human. The grim, slightly overwrought tone from those first few chapters is discarded and we start to get a feeling of just exactly who this new Wonder Woman is. It's just little shifts but they're important ones; we see her relationship with her guardians, what she does in her spare time, even what sort of music she likes. It doesn't sound like much but for this story it feels huge. Hester's turned Wonder Woman into someone who is still at her core the character readers knew for the previous 600 issues of her comic, but with enough changes that she's definitely someone whose life has been transformed into someone slightly different.

It's hard to say exactly how much or little of this was in Straczynski's story notes (something only he, Hester, and editors Brian Cunningham and Sean Ryan will truly know), but this is enough of a huge step away from the previous four issues that it makes me feel like at least some of this is Hester's tweaking of the story. Regardless of who decided to make this shift, it's a good one. Up until now, the new Wonder Woman wasn't a character, she was an outfit on an otherwise blank slate. Here she seems like an actual person. Sure, some of the bits feel a little trite (what is it with characters in Straczynski-plotted comics getting saved from domestic violence these days?) but none the less, it's a start.

There's a whole horde of artists on board this month, but despite seven different people touching the book it's remarkably consistent. It's still easy to pick out Don Kramer's pencils, which I think are the strongest of the bunch, with a smooth and clean feeling that flows nicely across each panel. Still, Eduardo Pansica and Daniel HDR do a solid pitch-in effort, keeping that overall look together. I suspect some readers who don't look at the credits might not even realize the round-robin pencils and inks going on behind the scenes.

"Wonder Woman" #605 is an important step in the right direction for the title. A lot of the wind has gotten lost from the sails of this storyline, but if anyone can rally the readership back on board, it's Hester. It's a good start, and it makes me wish that he'd been on board from the beginning.
My thoughts:
I agree with the reviewer for CBR, the feel of this issue is different than the previous ones.  It starts to feel like maybe we are getting a chance to know Diana as something other than a fighting machine full of anger at the past.  She feels more real, she talks to a cat and stone statues, she helps a domestic violence victim, she shows a bit of her past and tells some jokes.  I guess my understanding of the Morrigan is different than either what it actually is or what they are being portrayed as in the issue.  I have to admit that I don't have the best knowledge of myths of any sort, I keep meaning to learn more but then I get distracted by another book.  It is so easy to get distracted by books. Parts of this called to mind Percy Jackson as well.  Medusa's head makes an appearance as does a Minotaur.

I've been buying these issues as they come out, but I am just now getting around to reading them again, not for lack of interest just mostly distraction and lack of time.  Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to take a reading vacation, where you would just stay home with the intention of reading the whole time.  Would it feel wasteful or relaxing?  I kind of need the beach as a vacation spot, but I tend to get a lot of reading done there!
Story by Phil Hester, J. Michael Straczynski

Art by Don Kramer, Eduardo Pansica, Daniel HDR, Jay Leisten, Marlo Alquiza, Wayne Faucher, Eber Ferreira
Colors by Alex Sinclair

Letters by Travis Lanham

Cover by Don Kramer, Alex Sinclair

Publisher DC Comics
Story by Phil Hester, J. Michael Straczynski

Release Date Dec 22nd, 2010


  1. I know who she is but that is only cos of references in US shows, she is pretty unknown here, still

  2. Wonder Woman has been around for so many years I never thought that she wasn't known worldwide, which is kind of silly now that I look back on it, how many characters or superheros do we know from other places? Thanks for visiting!