Thursday, 4 December 2014

Wonder Woman #36 (The New 52)

Image copyright DC Comics 2014

The New 52, eh? It’s something I have mixed feelings about – I was quite fond of the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe, flawed though it was, and I wasn’t thrilled to see it go. But like any other business, comics is a money game and I’m lead to believe that The New 52 relaunch back in 2011 did some pretty good business – so it looks like we’re keeping it for the foreseeable future.

All of this, of course, is a very long-winded way of essentially saying that I’ve read very little of the New 52, outside of the Justice League, so I’m not up to speed with all the current continuity. So please forgive any errors I may make as I write about this issue.  

This issue has been out for a couple of weeks now, so I’m hardly first cab off the ranks in reviewing it – think of this a catch-up before issue #37 arrives. 

First things first – the art. It may be shallow, but I do often find it difficult to read a comic when I don’t particularly like an art style, and that’s one of the main reasons I never picked up any of Cliff Chiang’s run on this series over the last few years.* But now that David Finch is on pencilling duties, I’m planning to be all over it. Even my perennial favourites Jim Lee and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez have disappointed me from time to time, but I’m yet to see comic art by David Finch that I don’t like.

While I wouldn’t say this is his all-time best work, it’s still pretty darn good. Sensation Comics have thrown us a myriad of interpretations of Diana over the last few months, some of them better than others -- this issue, on art at least, blows all of them away. 

And with that we move on to part 2 – the story. Written by Meredith Finch (David's wife) it does an adequate job. As might be expected, there’s not a whole lot in the way of plot advancement; a lot of the issue seems designed around easing in the new creative team, and introducing (or perhaps re-introducing) characters who we can assume will be important in the upcoming story arc. There’s also something of a recap for readers such as myself, who haven’t been reading the last few years of the book; The Amazons are annoyed at Diana for her liberal views, and allowing men onto Themyscira, which is bound to cause trouble in future issues.

Image copyright DC Comics 2014

In terms of the larger plot arc, there’s someone or something who’s controlling the weather, causing natural disasters. The JLA cameo, which is to be expected, as does Swamp Thing. I really appreciated this, as he’s long been one of my favourite DC characters and often doesn't get the love he deserves.

Image copyright DC Comics 2014

The issue finishes with a fairly abrupt cliffhanger, which I won’t reveal here. How the consequences unfold over issues to come remains to be seen, but I'm certainly intrigued.  

Wonder Woman #36 comes recommended for WW and David Finch fans alike. It’s not groundbreaking, but it shows promise for strong future issues from this particular creative team – here’s hoping it delivers to expectations!   

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*Cliff Chiang is not a bad artist, btw. His style for WW just hasn't really clicked with me. 

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