This Week’s Haul

I haven’t been much for updating lately, so this is actually last week’s comics. Time’s short, so I’ll just look at one book and send you on your way…

  • Action Comics #891, by Paul Cornell, Pete Woods, Cafu, & Bit (DC)
  • American Vampire #5, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King & Rafael Albuquerque (DC/Vertigo)
  • Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4 of 6, by Grant Morrison, George Jeanty & Walden Wong (DC)
  • First Wave #3 of 6, by Brian Azzarello, Rags Morales, Rick Bryant & Bob Almond (DC)
  • The Flash #4, by Geoff Johns & Francis Manapul (DC)
  • Green Lantern #56, by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy (DC)
  • Green Lantern Corps #50, by Tony Bedard, Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes (DC)
  • Justice League of America #47, by James Robinson, Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter (DC)
  • Madame Xanadu #25, by Matt Wagner & Laurenn McCubbin (DC/Vertigo)
  • Wonder Woman #601, by J. Michael Straczynski, Don Kramer & Michael Babinski (DC)
  • Fantastic Four #581, by Jonathan Hickman, Neil Edwards & Paul Neary (Marvel)
  • Incorruptible #8, by Mark Waid & Horacio Domingues (Boom)
  • RASL #8, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
  • Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor #4 of 5, by John Byrne (IDW)
J. Michael Straczynski’s first full issue of Wonder Woman is, well, not bad. It’s almost entirely retrospective, explaining how the Amazons’ island refuge was exposed when the goddess Aphrodite rescinded her blessing, and the island was invaded and conquered. Small groups of Amazons escaped, though Queen Hippolyta did not, and Diana was raised in the outside world, and charged with vengeance, but also with finding and rescuing her sisters from the people pursuing them (and her). She sets off in the second half to do just that, as a group are pinned down in Turkey.

The most interesting development is that Straczynski is in fact setting this up as a “history has been changed” story, where Wonder Woman can no longer fly, and it’s implied that the leader of the men who destroyed the Amazons helped change history. Whether this will end up being a permanent change, or if things will return to normal but Diana will choose to retain her current outfit, remains to be seen.

The issue unfortunately also features yet more of Straczynski’s quirks as a writer that annoy me. He’s set this up as a quest story (save the Amazons, save the world?), which doesn’t seem terribly imaginative. He also gives the oracle who relates the Amazon’s history to Diana some of her own annoying quirks, such as asking Diana if she’s “got any gum?” (a line he used in his best comics work to date, Midnight Nation, previously), and then self-consciously has the oracle observe that she’s tied to staying near a certain bridge, and that that’s a metaphor, an explanation which feels terribly forced. One must take the good with the bad, I suppose.

Don Kramer’s art is pretty nifty, though: Polished and dynamic, helped considerably by Alex Sinclair’s colors in tone and texture.

Overall, it’s an encouraging book, but not without its faults. But it’s a much better start than Straczynski’s first issue of Superman.