Wonder Woman is faced with the ultimate superhero’s dilemma, helping her nemesis Cheetah or watching her die. The plant that gives Cheetah her powers is on the verge of extinction due to deforestation, without it the woman inside Cheetah, Barbara Minerva will die.
Wonder Woman is surprised at home by Cheetah sneaking into her house. It’s a classic superhero trope, but it’s well executed here. How does the hero deal when they are faced with the mortality of their nemesis? Wonder Woman could easily stand by and let Cheetah/Barbara die, but then how much of a hero is she if she let her die without trying to save her? Wonder Woman proves that she is the hero and goes to the ends of the earth to help save Cheetah.
The story balances an environmental message without being preachy. It feels like a natural part of the story and not the creators forcing in a message. Instead of villainizing society or any particular aspect, they place the blame for the problems at the feet of Lex Luthor and LexCorp.
Once Wonder Woman and Cheetah arrive at the secret island base the story takes on an Island of Dr. Moreau twist. A Doctor is using the berries that gave Cheetah her powers in an effort to create more human-animal hybrids. He hopes to use them to create disease resistant organs and tissues to help mankind. Another dilemma for Wonder Woman. She is not faced with many easy choices.
There isn’t much to dislike in this issue. Although some of the Doctor’s motivations make it unclear whether we should see him as a good man forced into a difficult situation or if he’s a man out for his own profit and gain at the expense of the animals.
This is a good spin on a classic superhero tale. The villains are not simply black and white out for themselves, and the heroes have to make difficult decisions. It’s a darker story, but it never feels grim and gritty, nor does it feel like something that couldn’t be appreciated by all age readers.