Comic Review – Wonder Woman #36

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week saw the first issue of the new creative team on DC’s monthly Wonder Woman series, written by Meredith Finch and illustrated by her husband David Finch, inks from Richard Friend, colours by Sonia Oback and letters from Sal Cipriano. After an extremely popular 35-issue run from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, deservedly popular I should say, a lot of people were dismayed to see that they were leaving the book and were apprehensive of what would come next.

Diana is spinning multiple very important plates right now. Queen of the Amazons, Justice League member and God of War, she’s doing well. She’s a pretty big deal. The trouble is, she feels that by having her attention divided between all of them means that it is impossible to give any role the full effort that it requires. So when some extreme environmental events lead to flash floods that cause entire villages to vanish without a trace, Wonder Woman and the Justice League head out to investigate. Diana flies off the handle, immediately attacking Swamp Thing who they find on the scene, assuming he is to blame as lush vegetation has grown quickly in place of a village and it’s populace. The situation is dissolved, with some help from Aquaman (unintentional comics pun), with both parties continuing their investigation. Diana finally heads back to Paradise Island, to check on the situation with her Amazon sisters and recently revealed brothers and to try and dissipate the tension, but the presumably supernatural water events have taken a terrible and personal toll at the island.

It is difficult to comment on this issue without comparing it to what came before, but I will try and keep the comparisons light. The story here is interesting, and doesn’t forget the events that led up to the issue, and I like the idea of Diana being torn between all of her responsibilities. The problem is she actually comes across quite weak, rather than the strong-willed Amazonian warrior we are all used to. This is an issue with the characterisation, and is a heavy juxtaposition against Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and even the character that appears in Superman/Wonder Woman or Justice League. Hopefully this is more first issue teething problems, and Meredith Finch will get a better handle on the character as the series continues, but it isn’t there yet.

David Finch’s art varies quite a lot during the issue, with the few action pages looking great and the landscapes looking lush and full, but actual close ups and characters looking a little shaky. There is double page splash of several League members discussing the problem, and all their faces look a bit odd (with really tiny eyes). The main issue here really is how he is drawing Diana though. I know artists vary and bring their own interpretation to a character, it’s one of the most interesting parts in comics that I always enjoy. Wonder Woman here though looks like she is made out of glass, like a delicate teenager liable to shatter at any moment. This overly young appearance is most apparent in the face, where she seems to look like some sort of terrifying porcelain doll.

I’ve been very negative here, but overall I did actually enjoy this issue. It was more the story I enjoyed however, as I felt the characterisation and art wavered quite a bit. While it isn’t fair to compare it to Azzarrello and Chiang’s run on the series, it would be remiss not to do so as DC really should ensure that they follow up such a strong and beloved run with something that can rival it rather than disappoint. Their Diana was strong and stoic, uncompromising and looking like she could take on the gods, regularly demonstrating that she could do just that. This is early days for this run though, and I am keen to see where the story goes and how Diana steps up to meet the challenge. I still think it is worth checking out for yourself, so pick it up at your LCS or digital comics platform.

6 Not-Sinkholes out of 10

Comic Review – Forever Evil #7

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers. 

Probably more than ‘minor’ this week, including spoilers for the whole event and the end of Trinity War.

This was a fairly expensive trip to the comics shop! This week I’ve decided to review the finale of the DC event comic Forever Evil (the first time I’ve reviewed an issue that wasn’t a #1), not because it was necessarily my favourite or the best but because it was worth talking about, I think anyway. Forever Evil #7 was written by Geoff Johns, with pencils by David Finch, inks by Richard Friend, colours from Sonia Oback and letters by Rob Leigh. Forever Evil started back in September last year during the Villain’s Month, and was due to finish two months ago in March. I had mistakenly (and unfairly) assumed that this was due to art delays and wanting to maintain consistency rather than rushing out the ending with a replacement, but it turns out Johns realised he wanted the end to be longer so we ended up getting a 40-page, slightly more expensive, finale. Quite why this meant the delay was two months I’m not sure, but we’ve got it now.

For those who don’t know, Forever Evil followed hot on the heels of the previous DC event ‘Trinity War’, which saw the Crime Syndicate (basically evil alternate universe versions of the Justice League) turn up in the main DC universe having escaped their own crumbling reality. Forever Evil starts with them having totally defeated the League, all of whom are presumed dead, and the Syndicate organising the villains of the DCU to take over and basically destroy the world. This doesn’t sit well with a few of the bad guys, who decide to band together to fight back against these extra-dimensional intruders. Lex Luthor joins up with with Bizzaro, Captain Cold, Black Adam, Black Manta, Sinestro, and a few others including Batman (who survived when all his super-powered friends were “killed” by the Syndicate, because he is Batman) to give us a nice villains Vs. villains tale, which is a good change of pace from the usual heroes Vs. heroes we have been used to of late in superhero comics.

The finale, which is pretty action-packed, starts with Luthor saving Nightwing. Spoiler I guess, but DC already started previewing their new ‘Grayson’ comic weeks before this issue came out. It was fairly obvious from the set up that this is how it would go down anyway. Batman hugs Nightwing, Luthor notices in some foreshadowing for something that comes later. Bizzarro then hugs Lex, which is definitely my favourite moment of the book. A large part of the rest of the issue is various villains fighting the remaining Crime Syndicate members Ultraman and Superwoman, and everyone fighting the alternate universe Alexander Luthor, who is a sort of reverse Shazam that steals the powers from people he kills. He has killed a lot of people apparently, because he is crazy powerful. I must admit I didn’t see the end of the fight coming, but I’m glad it went down like it did. It felt like it was earned, and even though the Justice League were pretty much simultaneously freed from their predicament by Batman and Cyborg, it was the villains that won the day and saved the planet. Basically, if none of that made any sense, it was all pretty awesome.


I really like Johns’ writing, and never more so than when he is writing villains. He continues to do a great job here, the only complaint I have is really more an issue I’ve found a lot recently in the new 52, being hinting at events that have occurred in the 5 year time span of the continuity that we haven’t seen and may not ever see. It makes things feel unearned. The main instance I mean involved Batman and the lasso of truth. The only other problem I’ve had with the event was the inclusion of Sinestro in the story, which I am conflicted over anyway because he has been excellent in it. I really enjoyed how Sinestro ended up at the end of Johns’ Green Lantern run, and didn’t want him back so soon as it lessened the impact. But I have no idea whose call it was to bring him in. The art team do a good job here too, dynamic fights in great looking surroundings with colours really suiting the tone of a big thunderous finale.

This was a damn good piece of superhero comics, involving very few actual superheroes. It sets up a really interesting new status quo, with Lex Luthor actually seemingly reflecting on events and improving himself (though not as clear cut as a full redemption, and he is clearly going to use some new information to his advantage soon), and the reveal of who chased the Crime Syndicate out of their own reality (and may be coming to the main DCU next). If you haven’t been reading this event, I wouldn’t recommend the finale as a jumping on point but definitely check out the collection when DC releases it. If you have been reading it, you dropped off the series because you weren’t into it or lost interest due to the delays, I would recommend jumping back on as it is a satisfying conclusion to what I found to be one of the best event books I have read in a while. Check it out at your local comic book shop, or digitally online if you have one of those new fangled tablet thingys.

Score: 7.5 MAZAHS! out of 10


* Definitely check out Saga #19 and American Vampire: Second Cycle #3 this week. They were both fantastic.