Last week saw the return of one of my favorite DC Comics digital-first titles with Wonder Woman ’77 #14. The title featured the Lynda Carter incarnation of Wonder Woman, in case you didn’t know.
I rolled my eyes slightly when I found out that Clayface would be the villain in the story, but my eyes quickly found their proper position after I read the story.
You see, I was only annoyed because I felt that there were other villains from Wonder Woman’s own rogues gallery to be explored before passing off Batman villains, a trope that has already been done before. Nary a proper, Wonder Woman-appropriate villain had been utilized in the ’70s television series, and writer Marc Andreyko has already corrected that with the introduction of Cheetah and The Silver Swan. So, why go to Batman’s stable so quickly? Where’s Circe? Angle Man? I’d settle for a helping of Egg Fu at this point.
But, Clayface is living clay, and at the heart of her (original) origin, Diana is, indeed, herself living clay, so pitting these two clay mates against each other not only makes perfect sense, it’s kind of genius. Nice work, Marc! You gotta love when bad guys look out for each other when it suits their own purpose. Clayface is experiencing some difficulties with his Clay action, and Cheetah is only too eager to point him in the direction of the magical clay of Paradise Island. Said magical clay being that which gave life to Wonder Woman. Although, one could argue it was the will of the gods that gave life to the clay and not necessarily the clay itself, or else those opportunistic Amazons would be licensing it to L’Oreal.
It just occurred to me that this origin gives Wonder Woman more than a passing commonality with a certain little boy fashioned from wood. Perhaps a Pinocchio comparison column for a future installment of Wonder Woman Wednesday? Hmmm…
The actual psychological angle of this dynamic would make for one heck of a deeply enlightening original graphic novel. A Freudian nightmare in the best way possible.
Maybe I’m not that familiar with Clayface or else writer Marc Andreyko has done some really clever things with the character. Was there perhaps a little pun in turning him into a clay pigeon?
Although Richard Ortiz doesn’t do the best job of capturing Lynda Carter’s likeness the way others have in the rotating roster of artists in Wonder Woman ’77, I am quite fond of his style. I find it reminiscent of Steve Leiloha, the only artist to successfully follow Bill Sienkiewicz’s revolutionary run on The New Mutants back in the day.
It’s always good to see colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. His unique and refreshing art style gives a cohesive look to the title that is quite pleasing to the eye. I actually zoom in on the art just to try and make sense of his intricate technique. The fabulous Nicola Scott once again provides a fetching cover that I think would do Ms. Carter herself quite proud.
I fear for the longevity of this title and pray that it has a healthy run. Between Marc Andreyko’s accessible style – he’s quite good with dialogue and has an uncanny ability to hold the readers interest – and a fetching team of rotating artists, this really is one of the best titles DC is currently publishing. No lie.
There’s plenty of territory to explore, and I hope the powers that be milk it for all it’s worth. Especially with the forthcoming Gal Gadot Wonder Woman, I think it’s fun to have an active window to the past and arguably the most iconic version of the amazing Amazon. At the end of the day, Wonder Woman ’77 is a quality book and an enjoyable read. If you aren’t collecting it, you should be.
I guess that’s it for this week’s #WonderWomanWednesday! Be here next week and be sure to “Like” and share our sister “I Am Wonder Fan” page on Facebook.
Hera be with you!