Review: Wonder Woman #778
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers
Writers: Michael W. Conrad & Becky Cloonan and Jordie Bellaire
Art: Travis Moore and Paulina Ganucheau
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain and Kendall Goode
Letters: Pat Brosseau and Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Wonder Woman takes Sigfried through some familiar and unfamiliar places on a trip through the Multiverse while tracking Janus. And, Young Diana confronts Hippolyta with what she’s found.
It’s rare that a comic that features multiple tales will be able to touch on a common larger theme. Wonder Woman #778 in the main story is slowly revealing the importance of “balance.” This should’ve been obvious from the use of Janus. Janus is not really the “god of balance,” but rather beginnings and endings, duality and such. There is a balance in that concept as things have both endings and beginnings and as such is a form of duality. It becomes clearer here as Diana confronts the half of Janus they’ve been trailing through the Multiverse. There are a few interesting encounters and comments along the way as well. Not to be outdone, in “Young Diana” the littlest Amazon brings this idea of balance to her mother as she confronts her with the truth about their past that she’s uncovered.
This idea of balance is referenced first as Diana appears to criticize the Abrahamic God’s “Judgement and Wrath as by-products of Righteousness.” It’s not much, but as the issue goes on it seems possible that this can be interpreted as a need for the reconciliation that comes in the New Testament. Perhaps, I’m reading a bit much into it, but it seems to fit. There’s also that bit about everyone having one’s own interpretation of art. Not to belabor the point too much, but the Old Testament and New Testament are the two halves of the Bible, two works that definitely tend to look in opposite directions and with different outlooks. I think it’s a valid assessment, though this is happens in the first four panel of page one and could be a long review were one to dwell on the minutiae.
Diana and Sigfied’s (and Ratatosk!) trip is wild, wacky and deadly serious. Multiverse stories have long been a favorite, and this issue takes us into the 5th dimension and includes such well-known inhabitants as Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk. It seems like it could be wildly out of place, but it’s no different than any of the other worlds our heroes have traversed. It has its moments of unpredictability, but at the same time does justice to the rarely seen Bat-Mite. Travis Moore does a wonderful job of channeling the references as Bat-Mite seems most inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, though also dame dropping the Batman feature films of the ’90’s as well. It’s a wonderful and fun and nostalgic sequence.
Tamra Bonvillain has the challenge of adjusting her palette for multiple settings and she does so wonderfully. The Batman: The Animated Series reference is captured perfectly, even the lightning that descends in one panel perfectly evokes the opening credits from the show. She handles the sequences in the Phantom Zone and the prehistoric past with equal skill. Additionally, it’s great to see Diana in her ’40’s inspired costume with the skirt/culottes and Eagle insignia instead of the Double W’s.
Even More Positives!
It’s not all fun and games as things get serious once they leave the 5th dimension. I always loved that the Wonder Woman of the original Earth-Two ended up in wedded bliss with Steve Trevor and they had a family and super-heroing daughter, Fury. I also enjoyed the post-Crisis take on Steve Trevor by George Perez, marrying him to Etta Candy and giving Diana a wide open lease on romantic adventures. Surprisingly, unlike a lot of “The New 52,” I thought Steve Trevor was handled very well and this approach continued on through “Rebirth.” Sigfried has been a bit annoying. Up till now. I was unsure of things, and what this direction was all about. But, with Wonder Woman #778 he’s really starting to grow on me as a genuine romantic interest for Diana. There is that awkward one-night stand bit, though…. I mean, one-night stands are things people often regret and try to forget…I’ll have to take that route.
It’s not often the child teaches the parent a lesson, but that’s exactly what happens in “Young Diana.” Diana shows her wisdom by confronting Hippolyta and it’s a great moment that shows Hippolyta Diana’s potential. Of course we know she won’t be Queen of the Amazons as Hippolyta imagines, but she will be something even greater. Diana was a wonder even at this tender age. This seems to indicate that Hippolyta will approach things differently.
Is this section still here?
Wonder Woman #778 is yet again another fantastic issue with depth, emotion, fun and even nostalgia. What’s more, the ending promises that return to Earth I’ve been asking for! Although, the real satisfaction is in the journey, and what a journey this has been. Continue to count this as one of DC’s best books and an instant classic Wonder Woman!