Writers: J. Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester
Pencillers: Don Kramer, Lee Garbett
Inkers: Drew Geraci, Robin Riggs, Trevor Scott
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Josh Middleton
Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston
It’s the final battle for Wonder Woman and Nemesis! Wondy discovers the burden her green-smokey villain must endure as she slices as the neck of her foe. But the Amazonian Princess must now endure the same burden of murdered souls. Now, her quest is at an end, and Wonder Woman must now harness all that she has learned to defeat this new evil.
My Heretical Opinion
If your start in reading Wonder Woman began with issue #601, and you’re trying to figure out what makes Wonder Woman so great…pick up some back issue when Gail Simone was writing for said title and you’ll see why.
Straczynski did his darndest, I’ll give him that, but Wonder Woman lost what made her great for fourteen issues. Granted, this issue is probably the best of the odyssey arc, but it’s still lacking in those character trademarks which have defined Wonder Woman for so long. I’m not saying that writers shouldn’t try out new and interesting concepts with a superhero, but certain things need to stay in place if the character is to survive another 100 issues.
The battle sequence between villain and hero is fine…not great…but fine. In fact, I get a little confused. I’m uncertain as to what occurs in that penultimate moment before everything goes back to normal; Is Diana accepting the responsibility as the new Nemesis, or is she refusing? She actually states “I shall take you place, Nemesis,” but also says “this is not the woman I choose to be.” And this set of dialog/inner monolog toggle back and forth at the same time. Which one is it? There seems to be no indication of an inner struggle! Maybe I missed something but there seems to be a little confusion in what Wonder Woman has decided to do. Consistency, that’s all I need!
Of course, this is over half the issue and truly weighs it down. Thank God for the last eight pages where Wonder Woman’s life reverts back to its original state…minus the new costume. I suspect Phil Hester had more to do with this aspect of the script than Straczynski…it simply brings us all back to the Wonder Woman we have known and loved for years.
The excitement Wonder Woman shows in learning her mother is still alive is a great moment, and the loving embrace her and Hippolyte share takes center stage as one of the more moving single panels I’ve ever gazed upon in a comic. The relationship they share is a fantastic one, filled with mother daughter teasing and fun. “Changed you uniform again, I see,” a playful bit of scolding on her mother’s part, implying that Diana can’t seem to make up her mind about what she wears to the battlefield in the land of men.
Two artists take the helm of this final issue of Wonder Woman, Kramer leading with his pencil, with Garbett following close behind. I do enjoy Kramer’s artwork, but Lee Garbett really blew me away with his stellar pencil work, giving us a mature looking Wonder Woman rather than a 2-dimensional one. Was there a lack of time for Kramer to finish this book, or was this a purposeful move to bring us back to visual maturity that Wonder Woman had been lacking all this time? Kramer still delivers excellent action scenes with Pete Pantazis boosting everything up with his talent for using the right types of colors to define the angst-filled moments.
I was worried for a chunk of the issue, but the last eight pages brought back the way it should be, giving Wonder Woman an ending worthy of her character. Though it may suffer due to its connection with the poorly planned out story arc, I’ll take this issues last few pages as a sign that DC apologizes for what transpired for fourteen issues.
6 out of 10 stars