Some SPOILERS below
I often wonder why comic books will have an amazing relaunch or storyline with little to no back-up plan? Towards the end of Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s Wonder Woman comic book run, I began panicking. After so much great story and art, what’s next?
After what had to be a fill-in arc, we are given the story by legendary writer James Robinson. In his hey day, Robinson was awesome. Most noted for his stellar writing on Starman with artist Tony Harris and The Golden Age with artist Paul Smith, Robinson is a fan fave and critical darling.
Much like Frank Miller and John Byrne, James Robinson has gone from super star to super adequate. I hate to say that about an artist or writer that I am a fan of. It’s not to say they are doing bad work by any means; it just means their current work isn’t up to snuff as much as the stuff that cemented them in comic history. I’d imagine it’s tough to stay on top, especially with writers. They seem to burn bright for a certain amount of time, then poof! Nothing.
This arc introduces Wonder Woman’s brother, Jason. Something about Argo was mentioned.
Are we to assume this to be Jason of “Jason and the Argonauts?” No. No! No! With her current status. We have her father as Zeus, and that makes Hercules her half brother and gives her the same origin as Perseus. Well done! (Screams no one!)
Essentially, by changing her origin, it strips away many things unique and interesting about Wonder Woman. When she was made from a clay statue forged from the land of Paradise Island by Hipployta’s need and desire to love a child of her own, it made it more meaningful and touching. She moved Heaven and Earth (literally) to bring Diana into the world. And then, all dreams shattered. “She was just the product of Zeus’ horny desire to bust a move with the Amazon Queen. Bummer.
We know little about Jason as he rarely appeared in the first two issues of his arc. Although he easily could be a dreamy male version of Wondy. Though they have never met, Diana and Jason are instantly able to recognize each other as a sibling. Twins, no less. Arrrrgh.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s well written and interesting enough... it’s just the eye-rolling premise I have a problem with. Diana had a virtual clean slate thanks to rebirth. Greg Rucka established a firm foundation, if not a tough act to follow, but there must have been a better route to travel. But the show ain’t over yet.
The art in the first issue was beautifully rendered by Carlo Pagulayan. His style has really matured over the years. He draws a beautiful, yet strong, Diana. The second issue by Sergio Davila was not so strong - and come on! A fill-in artist two issues in?!? One of the reasons I read few monthlies any more.
I’m intrigued (or blindly devoted) enough to see where it goes. I just wish the powers that be would push their talent to go in wild, new directions that add to the history of these long-running books. They’re legends for a reason and deserve legendary treatment.
I think it’s a product of an industry that inherited mostly fanboys as the next generation of creators. It seems too many comics simply wish to rehash the greatness that has come before it. If you really want to honor the greatest stories of your characters, let Phoenix corpses lay where they be and come up with something new and interesting. Leave your mark on something. Not you Chris Claremont-shaped mark, if you know what I mean.
So, while giving Wonder Woman a brother is an original idea, (perhaps) story ideas should never come at the expense of what makes Wonder Woman great.
And I’m all about hand me downs, but Hercule’s death should not make Diana want to wear her half brother’s lion corpse hoodie.
Let’s just hope we make it through this arc without too much damage to the mythos, and Jason can die a martyr, be revealed and destroyed as a villain, or just dismissed and forgotten into obscurity.
That’s it for this week!
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