This week: Happy birthday Wonder Woman! Nobody could ever tell you’re eighty! We’re celebrating 80 years of Wonder Woman with Wonder Woman #750.
Note: the reviews below contain spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Wonder Woman #750
Cover Artists: Joëlle Jones and Trish Mulvhill; Joshua Middleton; Jenny Frison; J. Scott Campbell; Olivier Coipel; George Pérez; Brian Bolland; Adam Hughes; Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair
This is the third anniversary celebration that DC has done (along with Action Comics and Detective Comics) and the first of several slated to release this year. Later this year we are getting Flash,Robin, Catwoman, and Joker anniversary specials, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green Lantern and Shazam! also get added to that list. 1940 was a pretty prolific year for superhero debuts, but Wonder Woman is undoubtedly the biggest of them. As this is an anthology comic I’m not going to work to cover everything, just my favorite stories of the bunch, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the covers and pin-ups.
My favorites of the decade variant covers are easily George Pérez and Jenny Frison. Pérez’s cover is unmistakably his Diana, the one that was seminal to me as a young reader. Frison also has made her mark on Wonder Woman over the last several years, and her covers are always beautiful. The cover I like the least is J. Scott Campbell’s. It’s boring, and static, and the various pieces just feel like they’re colorforms that were haphazardly stuck to the cover.
For the interior pinups, it was wonderful to see art from industry legend Ramona Fradon, who I got to listen to talk about Wonder Woman several years ago at Denver Comic Con. That year she complained about George Pérez giving Diana his trademark thick curls, because it’s harder to draw than what Fradon did on Super Friends.
There are lots of wonderful stories in this issue, including a return of the DC Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett and Laura Braga and a glimpse of what looks like the start of the 5G timeline with Scott Snyder and Bryan Hitch’s inspirational 1939 origin story. We’ve been told that Wonder Woman will be the first superhero in this new timeline, and this seems to be the start of that.
The Wild Hunt
Writer: Steve Orlando
Penciller: Jesus Merino
Inker: Vicente Cifuentes
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
It’d be hard to talk about Wonder Woman’s past without looking at her present. Steve Orlando and Jesus Merino wrap up their first arc on the title with the climax of Diana’s showdown with Cheetah, as well as set up what’s to come with a cliffhanger ending.
Orlando is starting to find his stride with the series, and moving away from the “Year of the Villain” will only help that. As much as I enjoyed this arc, it really feels like Orlando was finishing G. Willow Wilson’s story. This issue finally provided closure for Cheetah’s vendetta against the gods, with a new status quo to lead into the future of the series. Diana has the artifacts of her office back, her bracelets reforged, her golden perfect returned. Much like Diana herself after this ordeal, her bracelets now bear the scars of war, as Diana returns to Boston in her mission of truth.
Jesus Merino and Vicente Cifuentes are at their absolute finest in this story, and despite being battle scarred and weary, Diana looks absolutely resplendent throughout these pages. This is the present and future of Wonder Woman, and it looks as bright as her lasso.
From Small Things, Mama
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Colleen Doran
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
A welcome treat was the return of Gail Simone and Colleen Doran after their wonderful Star-Blossom story from the last Wonder Woman anniversary special. Simone and Doran return to both Wonder Woman and Star-Blossom with a wonderful intimate tale of both sisters and parents. It shows us that we all can learn from those younger than us, and that sometimes wisdom comes from unexpected places.
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Rob Leigh
The last of the stories I’m going to talk about in any detail from Wonder Woman #750 is the story I was looking forward to the most. Greg Rucka has always been my favorite Wonder Woman writer, so it is always a delight to see him revisit the character. Likewise, Nicola Scott is one of my favorite artists in all of comics.
Scott and Rucka work seamlessly together, and have for many years. Scott’s Diana is the one that I see in my mind when I imagine Wonder Woman. She’s strong and powerful, but there’s a kindness to her that makes her the perfect avatar of love that Diana is supposed to be.
And that love and kindness is evident in the story as well. While many stories in this issue look at Diana’s past, this story looks to her future. Set in an ambiguous “later”, this story is another story of Diana trying to help the super villain who was once her friend. And though she fails again, she shows a determination to never give up on bringing Barbara Ann back to the light.
All in all, Wonder Woman #750 is a wonderful celebration of Diana Prince, throughout the ages. Most importantly, the creative teams are a lot more gender balanced than I expected. There are 67 credited creators on the book including editors. There’s 42 credited men, 23 credited women, 1 non-binary creator and 1 studio. When looking at only the writers of the stories in the issue, it’s five women, one non-binary writer and four men. So it’s nice to see a bit more equity than normal, but it still feels like there probably should have been more female and non-binary voices on this issue. Maybe that’s something that will be improved for the Catwoman 80th Anniversary Special.
- While Wonder Woman #750 is clearly the biggest book DC is putting out this week, there is a lot of other good stuff to dive into.
- Superman #19 provides a wonderful follow-up to last month’s big reveal, and Brian Michael Bendis truly excels at the quiet character moments.
- Wonder Twins remains my favorite comic on the stands month in and out, and this month’s issue is no exception. At this point I’d follow Mark Russell to the ends of the earth to keep reading his work.
- I was able to predict Batman Beyond‘s big reveal midway through the issue, but that didn’t make the reveal any less fun. It’s the first time I’ve felt truly invested in this title.
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