Ah, Jodi Picoult. I had such high hopes for you. Unfortunately all you’ve managed to do is make me miss Allah Heinberg’s run…something I was sure was not possible. I’ve been hesitant to talk about the whole Wonder Woman fiasco because it was actually getting to be painful what was being done to a book that had been one of my top reads during the Perez, Messner-Loebs, and Rucka runs. So…since Picoult’s much-awaited (I hate how sarcasm cannot be conveyed through the internet…) run is finally here…I thought I’d discuss what I like about the book and the character. Also…since this a blog…I thought I’d say where I think DC went wrong with the handling of the character.
I think the best Wonder Woman was probably the one under Greg Rucka. Admittedly it took me a long time to realize this because I adored the Perez Wonder Woman. She was just perfect. Naive until the time came for her to finally grow up. She also had the most awesome villains ever. The new Silver Swan, the revamped Cheetah, Eris, the frackin’ God of War himself, Ares!! It was an excellent time to be a Wonder Woman fan I’m sure, and I’m sorry I was too young to appreciate it when it was first coming out (I think I was 4, maybe 5…) But Rucka…I was front and center for that run. It introduced the grown-up version of Perez’s Diana. She developed into a novelist preaching her message of peace to the world. Themyscira wasn’t outright destroyed by an incoming writer for once (I mean seriously…Perez endangered it, Loebs messed it up, Byrne obliterated it, Jimenez tried to improve it but it didn’t take…) It was nice to see a Diana who was confident of her role in ‘man’s world.’ Also, Rucka was the first writer since Perez to actually bother developing and maintaining a supporting cast (I don’t count Byrne because…well…his supporting cast sucked. It was horribly one-dimensional and were used only as foils for Wonder Woman rather than characters in their own rights).
Anyway, Infinite Crisis ended Rucka’s run. What could’ve been an incredible battle between the US and the Amazons (as Rucka had been hinting since the start of his run) was merely a fizzle and something that just cheapened his whole run. Diana’s backbone, the Amazons, were gone and she was left alone in man’s world (something that NEVER worked in the past, so of course it’ll work fantastically now!) And she had a secret identity…the one thing that I did not miss at all from the silver age stories. That was the main contention I had with Heinberg’s run. It’s beside the point that I did not agree with Donna being Wonder Woman. She had abandoned all rights to the name when she accepted her role as the new Harbinger. If anyone deserved to be the new Wonder Woman, it should’ve been Cassie. I know people believe she’s too young and under-developed as a character to truly exist in that respect, but she was the best character during PAD’s Young Justice. If anything, I think Johns messed her up. What was a vivacious character with the potential of leadership capabilities and good confidence in herself suddenly became a whiny little girl who was obsessed with playing dress-up with Raven and house with Superboy. Johns un-evolved the character such as it were…she became ridiculous. (Ok…moving on…my problems with Johns Titans shall wait for another day…)
Anyway back to Heinberg. I’m a child of the late 80s-early 90s and thus have no affection for the Wonder Woman tv show. And while I do enjoy the silver age adventures quite a bit, I accept that it is time to move on and not dwell on them. So, of course…I hated the spinning stars transformation. He didn’t even bother to explain it like during the SA (chemically treated costume and wardrobe that allowed her switch when she achieved a particular frequency with her spinning) and then he brought back Hercules, who was overdone when Byrne brought him in. Hercules only occupies one role in the entire DC-verse…that of jackass who was responsible for the Amazons having to move to Themyscira. Any other use is stupid and especially in light of the amazons…makes no sense for the character. He has repented…there is no need for him to return ever again. The only really good thing during Heinberg’s run…and I will admit this much…he made Circe truly bad-ass. Which brings us back to Ms. Picoult.
This issue had a ton of problems that I don’t even need to go into since people who are far better writers than I have already delved into them in detail. I shall just summarise the salient details for people who may be particularly forgetful. Diana is not THAT naive anymore. She has been in ‘man’s world’ for a long, long time. She knows about credit cards and most of the other simple functions of life. She is also NOT so obsessed by her identity crisis issues (which shouldn’t even exist in the first place) that she would become Peter Parker in trying to reconcile her role of capturing herself as well as continuing her role as Wonder Woman. And the biggest offense of Wonder Woman #6: Circe became boring. I know she’s aware of her secret identity and all that crap…but why would she continue the same storyline that we just escaped from after a year of being held hostage by it?? Another ‘friend’ captured by Circe who is demanding Diana to show up and save him. Bah! I seriously cannot wait for an actual comic writer to come onto the book and atleast try to restore Diana to her Rucka/Perez glory. That’s all that’s keeping me holding on to the book at this point. DC really dropped the ball on this. What was supposed to be the year that Wonder Woman would truly become part of the Trinity instead became the year which had no Wonder Woman. And nobody wants that.
Well…that was…extensive, eh? (What can I say…had a free hour at work and I was itching to get all this out on ‘paper’.)