After drawing a lot of attention to itself last month, will Wonder Woman manage to live up to the hype? Click and find out!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI • Art and cover by DON KRAMER & MICHAEL BABINSKIBest-selling comics writer J. Michael Straczynski (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, Thor) smashes all your expectations of Wonder Woman by lauching an all-new era for the Amazon Princess! Spinning out of the mind-bending events of WONDER WOMAN #600, Diana must face the biggest mystery of all – who destroyed Paradise Island?
You might have recently heard about a minor wardrobe change that Wonder Woman went through in Wonder Woman #600. To summarize, Wonder Woman ditched the one piece metal bathing suit/armor that’s been adorning her body for the better part of seventy years and replaced it with a toned down, less sexualized version complete with pants and a jacket. Also, her back story may have been changed too, but no one really paid attention to that. Anyways, the changes attracted a little bit of media attention and, combined with the draw of J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer, drummed up new interest in the Amazon Princess.
Wonder Woman #601 firmly introduces the brand new world that Wonder Woman lives in. It is a world where Paradise Island is dead, the Amazon Queen (and Diana’s mother) Hippolyta is dead, and the Amazons are scattered to the four corners of the earth, hunted by a mysterious paramilitary group. Straczynski lays out Diana’s new world neatly. Everything the reader needs to know about who Diana is and what her new status quo is all about is summed up in the first ten pages of the book. The remainder of the book focuses on Diana’s mysterious foes and Diana’s initial attempts to face them. We even gain insight to Diana’s new power set, as a second flashback explains why Wonder Woman is no longer able to fly.
Straczynski plays to his strengths in this issue. As evidenced by his exemplary writing in Thor, Straczynski works best when he gets to control the starting point of his book and builds his plot at a slow burn. Wonder Woman appears to be following this general pattern. We see a lot of foundation being laid in this issue, with little action outside of flashbacks. However, there are hints that the next chapter in the story will not only feature more action but also a possible reveal of the big bad of the arc. All in all, Straczynski does a solid job of laying out the new status quo for Wonder Woman for any reader that might have been drawn to the new story line.
Don Kramer’s art is generally solid in this issue. I feel like he is feeling out Diana’s new look as much as the reader is. It’s obvious that he’s still trying to capture Wonder Woman’s essence with the new costume. At some points in the issue, he succeeds, while in other parts he fails. The biggest setback is his depiction of Diana’s face. There are several close-ups where Wonder Woman’s face looks downright scary when it’s not supposed to be. Also, Diana appears to suffer from expanding chest syndrome. While her bodice is more modest in earlier pages, it puffs out as Diana prepares for battle. However, these are mainly nitpicks in an otherwise acceptable showing from one of DC’s foremost artists.
Overall, the issue should succeed in keeping the readers drawn to Wonder Woman’s new costume interested in where the story is going. While Wonder Woman #601 does not scream instant classic like some of Stracynski’s other work, it is still far better than the bulk of his comic work thus far.