Overview

Wonder Woman #602

Review

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Wonder Woman #602

Credits

  • Words: J. Michael Straczynski
  • Art: Don Kramer and Eduardo Pansica
  • Inks: Jay Leisten, Michael Babinski, and Ruy Jose
  • Colors: Alex Sinclair
  • Story Title: "The Odyssey Part Two: Whispering Gods"
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2010

It would be a shame if audiences allowed what J. Michael Straczynski is doing in Superman or perhaps their own personal grudges against the new costume design to deprive them of one the strongest Wonder Woman stories in a long time.

Although definitely more action driven than the previous two issues, Wonder Woman #602 continues with Diana's quest to learn more about her heritage and her place in this new and unfamiliar world.  From the onset, story takes a back seat to fight sequences as Diana assaults the military unit who has tracked down her Amazonian sisters' stronghold.  Once inside, Straczynski illustrates his strengths as a storyteller as Diana wrestles with her duties versus the will of the Gods and begins to comprehend more about her mother and the Gods' intentions.  The villains are largely textbook, nameless faces with guns and primarily serve as fodder for Wonder Woman to display her own tactical and fighting prowess.  As a result, Wonder Woman #602 is a placeholder or perhaps even a bridging and transitional issue in the larger story arc Straczynski is weaving.  While there is definite character growth for Wonder Woman as she begins to decipher more about her life, Straczynski utilizes this issue to showcase her devotion and commitment to her sisters primarily through her combative, warrior nature.

One problem, however, that continues over from the last issue is the rather inconsistent nature of artists Don Kramer and Eduardo Pansica.  It's unclear why Wonder Woman requires two pencillers, but the result closely mirrors some of the setbacks audiences have witnessed in Birds of Prey in regards to the art as well.  For example, some readers may notice that Wonder Woman and her sisters' facial structures shift between pages.  While Kramer creates some very intriguing interiors, especially in the layout and panel organization on page four, there is a noticeable and mostly awkward transition between foreground and background shots.  There is also just some sloppiness that escaped the editorial gaze as in one panel Wonder Woman simply has no pupils or irises.

Although the artistic difficulties do not weaken the overall story Straczynski has crafted, they are distracting at times.  What is most troubling though is that with such promotion for the "new" Wonder Woman and the renumbering campaign, DC may risk losing new readers and the "on the fence" Wonder Woman fans who aren't quite sure about these new directions because of the art.  Some audiences may wish that Straczynski had held off on the battle heavy issues until he'd firmly established his take on the title as well.  Yet, with only two issues into the series, he has done a good job of showcasing substance over mere surface changes to costume, and given most readers a reason to continue on with the book.

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