Rating: 3.5/5 – Wonder Woman is Getting a Second Title…and She’s in Gotham?
by Comic Spectrum reviewer David Akers.
In a world where filmmakers believe Wonder Woman can’t support her own movie, you might be surprised to discover she’s getting a second comic book series of her own. And in the vein of Adventures of Superman and Legends of the Dark Knight, this one reprints the digital first series on paper. Also, like the other digital first series starring Batman and Superman, this features a pre-Flashpoint look at the title hero. In this issue Barbara Gordon is still Oracle, Penguin is a bird-obsessed umbrella fan, and Wonder Woman isn’t the God of War.
The main story, written and drawn by fan-favorites Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver, is very well-written and beautiful to look at. That said, I have a big problem with the setting and a plot point. Given that Wonder Woman is finally getting a second series for the first time in over 70 years and is on the verge of getting her own movie, why did this series have to kick-off with a Batman tie-in? Other than the obvious “because when you add Batman sales go up”? The story is set in Gotham, with Wonder Woman facing all of Batman’s major rogues, using W-shaped batarangs. I have to believe that they were trying to make the point that she’s just as strong a character as Batman, but surely there were better ways to do this than abandoning Wonder Woman’s regular cast and transplanting her to Gotham as a Batman surrogate. Even the use of Oracle was a waste, because she’s only there to get Wonder Woman onto the scene.
The second story is a mostly forgettable fight between the new 52 Wonder Woman and Circe that ends with a heavy-handed attempt at commentary about gender stereotypes. It’s written by Amanda Deibert but has really good, stylistic art by Cat Staggs.
Gail Simone tells a good, solid story, but ultimately it’s a throwaway that doesn’t matter in current DC continuity. It’s set in a universe that no longer exists, and features none of the standard themes that we associate with Wonder Woman. And maybe that was the point. It’s a good alternative for people who are not into the New 52 take on Wonder Woman. Perhaps it is a “best of both worlds”, providing an alternate way for fans not into the New 52 Wonder Woman to read her adventures, but it does not seem to be a good way to lead fans to her ongoing series, if that was even the intent. It’s good to see more of the best-known and most visible female character in DC’s lineup, but I question if this is the best way to celebrate her.