The Good: Artwork
The Bad: Short, Addy, A LOT of exposition
The Basics: The four parts contained in Wonder Woman 100 Page Spectacular are pretty much anything but; it looks good, but does little else.
Ever since I completed my Wonder Woman Year, I have found more and more volumes of Wonder Woman to read and enjoy. Hitting the newsstands for an April 2011 release is the Wonder Woman one-shot 100-Page Spectacular and it comes at an odd point in the Wonder Woman mythos. Wonder Woman has been rebooted in the monthly comics with an entire alternate universe storyline that is being connected to other DC Comics projects, like Justice League: Generation Lost. In those stories, Wonder Woman has a new costume, new bearing and an entirely new mission. The 100-page spectacular which starts with "Gods And Monsters" returns Wonder Woman to her classic appearance for a single story and, sadly, it is not quite worth it on its own.
The one-shot is essentially an annual in which Artemis poses the question "What good have you actually done?" to Wonder Woman. The story takes place a few years in the past, as evidenced by the reference to Wonder Woman descending from being a god a few weeks prior. While the artwork is good, there is little here for the fans or casual readers of Wonder Woman comics.
In "Gods And Monsters," the moment in Wonder Woman history only previously alluded to is finally revealed. As Artemis and Wonder Woman struggle to keep Gateway City from collapsing into flames and death, Wonder Woman confronts Zeus and the other Greek Gods and makes the permanent choice to renounce her godly status. For those who have followed Wonder Woman for years, this story is a bit of an anticlimax. Wonder Woman has been back - and mortal - for years. Moreover, there is no conflict in the story that is so essential or different from others she has endured to truly sell the reader on the idea that this conflict is truly so devastating that Wonder Woman would sacrifice everything to return to mortal life.
This is followed in the book by "Trinity 98" Parts 1 and 2. In that storyline, the JLA satellite detects an anomaly on Earth and Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman must defend a city from an invading army. Unfortunately, I've never read any of the "Trinity" stories, which feature the team-up between the three big powers in the DC universe, so this storyline fell a little flat with me. The artwork, however, was generally decent.
The one-shot volume ends with the story "The Bearing Of The Soul." In that, Wonder Woman takes on a militant force and finds the floating museum of super hero greats. This story generally concludes Diana's quest to end war on Earth, even for a few minutes.
What strikes one instantly about the Wonder Woman One-shot is how utterly unnecessary it is. Readers will find nothing extraordinary in the story and the whole of it reads like what it is likely to become: a bonus section of whatever graphic novel anthology ends up housing Wonder Woman #600. Like that, the stories in this are not part of the continuing storyline and thus seems unnecessary. With all of the loose ends dangling when the current alternate Wonder Woman storyline began, one would hope a bonus volume like this would either wrap them up or flesh out the new continuing storyline better. This does neither.
Moreover, the heroism of a hero may often be judged by how tough the villain is. In the Wonder Woman 100-Page Spectacular, it is pretty much Wonder Woman vs. the world and guerilla operatives are hardly as compelling as any villain that can match her with strength, brains or magic.
Ultimately, that makes it very easy to pass this comic by. Hopefully, the next tribute to Wonder Woman will do something a little more vital.
For other Wonder Woman books, please check out my reviews of:
Down To Earth
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© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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