Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not So Wonder Woman

No. Just. No. Wonder Woman 7 made me nostalgic for Wonder Woman 6, which was no prize. Jodi Picoult is a best selling novelist. She said all the right things in interviews about her latest writing gig. I thought I had reason to be hopeful about her stint on Wonder Woman. Best I can say is we're not waiting 2-4 months between issues. I kinda wish we were.

This installment read like a plot synopsis, with a few snappy lines of dialogue thrown in. The banter between Circe and Wonder Woman was kind of embarrassing, like they were going through the motions. Like they had a script and didn't quite get their motivation. The opening narration paled, though, in comparison. It was amateurish. Yes, it served its purpose, filling us in, but it was clumsy. And we're still getting a Diana who doesn't know her place. Yeah, this book is way off the mark, time-wise, but delays aside, it's still supposed to be after 52 which was a year without Wonder Woman (and Bats and Supes), so it's really hard to reconcile this characterization of Diana with the one now appearing in Justice League of America. Brad Meltzer is writing a sharp, strong, confident character. Jodi Picoult is writing Wonder Woman as if she just stepped off Paradise Island and forgot how to swim.

But all that is nothing next to the sheer silliness that ensues after she rescues Nemesis. First, she gets him down from the rafters. She thinks, "I've got to get him medical attention." Then he makes a sexist remark (in his delirium?) and she drops him. Drops him! Guess he really needs medical attention now.

But wait! There's more. Diana next thinks, "He's losing a lot of blood." Well, duh. He was cut up and you dropped him. Deliberately. That can't help coagulation. So she breaks into a veterinary clinic, during which we get her wrestling with her conscience about breaking rules or laws or whatever because she can't risk taking him to a hospital. Nevermind that she could drop him off outside an ER and fly away before anyone notices her. It's not like he can't stand, for Pete's sake. We see him standing while she breaks into the place and rips out the alarm. It goes off for a few seconds, beep beep bee--, but no one shows up while she's treating him even though, as she thinks, "I'm not doctor, but Nemesis should be back to normal..." And there's no sign she took an x-ray or transfused him or anything, just bandaged him up a bit.

So Nemesis, who's hungry, eats a dog biscuit while Diana offers him a rabies shot -- ha ha -- because clearly, he's no longer bleeding to death. So they then head off to follow some lame ass clue about -- well, gosh darn it, I forgot why -- and she's flying with him, but "flying at super speed would do serious damage to him in his condition." What condition? He's no longer bleeding and he's "back to normal," or should be. Well, of course, she can't make up her mind about that, because, in her own words, she's "not a doctor."

I kinda lost my focus after that. Some more things happened. Sarge Steel showed up. Apparently, there's a locator chip in Nemesis' uniform, probably in the pants since he's no longer wearing a shirt. Nemesis is a bit peeved that they didn't use it to rescue him from Circe. Maybe they were watching American Idol. Anyway, Wonder Woman goes off with them and now she's a prisoner and it seems Steel's bosses want the "Purple Death Ray." Uh-oh. How will Diana get out of this fix? *yawn*

Will someone wake me when this arc is over? I seriously hope the new gig Gail Simone was offered and for which she's giving up Birds of Prey for is Wonder Woman. We need her on this book. Because right now, it's reading like fan fiction. And not very good fanfic at that.


  1. Me confused much, huh?

    Isn't the Purple Ray the Healing Ray? Though I suppose if you switched it backwards it would...

    Oh wait, they retconned out Greg Rucka's storyline, didn't they. Which would change the whole 'How Paradise Island Views Medicine In the Land of Men'.

    But wait, if Wonder Woman is so new, why does she risk not taking him to people who can treat him if she doesn't know from coffee to gas prices she can't know too much about how men are harmed and heal - right?

    Though is that why she breaks into a vet's clinic? Not knowing the most they might have that a human could use is alcohol, gauze and maybe some pain killers?

    Me is confused. No wait me am not confused. Oh Bizzaro, please get me out of your world.

  2. lol. Yeah, exactly. The Purple Death Ray had me going for a while.

    I didn't read all of Rucka's storyline, so I don't know what's been retconned out. Then again, Wonder Woman is one of those characters every author seems to feel the need to redo when they get their hands on her.

  3. Yeah, this was pretty bad. Did the fair Jodi even bother to read anything ABOUT Wonder Woman? As you said, compared to other depictions of her, Picoult's version is a complete idiot. I like Nemesis a tiny little bit,but he's portrayed pretty much as an idiot as well.


  4. Sally, supposedly, she's a Wonder Woman fan. Maybe it was a different Wonder Woman...

  5. A fan? Of which version, I wonder? This as dumb as I've ever seen her portrayed. Maybe she liked the depowered white suit era, that always seemed, to me, like the densest time for Diana.

  6. I actually loved the depowered version of Wonder Woman in the '70s, perhaps because I read it back then and loved that she was human and more accessible. After some of the dumb stories of the '60s, she was someone I could identify with.

    But yeah, Jodi Picoult really doesn't seem to have a clue what makes Diana Wonder Woman.

  7. They didn't retcon the purple ray. Is still a healing ray, is just that on the last arc of the previous incarnation of the comic were they fight a bunch of omacs they used their engeneering genius to repurpose the ray transforming in a superweapon capable of killing anything.

    At least there is precedent: on Wonder Woman One Million the ray was tampered and used as a killing device .

  8. Thanks for the update, Julio.

  9. Ah, but bless you for writing this blog. I haven't read a comic in a decade but I do get kind of sentimental for them.

  10. heh

    You're welcome, Doug. That's why I got back into reading them in the mid-'90s after not reading them for nearly a decade. I missed them. :)

  11. Well the good/bad news if we don't like how Diana's being written we just have to wait a couple of issues for the next writer to come along...

  12. The confusion with the Death Ray/Healing Ray is exactly why I think editor notes should never been retired. I mean, yeah, we have the internet, but is kind of lazy of the comic publishers let others do their job for them. Also, editor notes would help sell lot more comics if they were eletronically distributed in a model like Itunes instead of bittorrent'ed.

  13. Good point re: editor's notes, Julio.

  14. Marionette1:51 PM EDT

    So isn't Nemesis supposed to have some skills of his own, other than being intermittently at death's door?

    And what was Circe doing in the restroom of the bar, if it was Circe? I was starting to lose the plot by then.

    And were we supposed to know who the cloaked woman was? It seemed to be being played as a big reveal, but I had no clue.

  15. I have no idea who the cloaked woman is. Circe made no sense through most of the story. And Nemesis is starting to make me long for Steve Trevor. Okay, I was being facetious about that last bit, but not by much.

    What I really don't get is that there are people who actually liked the issue and last one.

  16. Now I'm absolutely glad I dropped the book last issue! XD

  17. But you'll pick it up again when Gail starts with issue 13, right, Ami? :)