Review: Wonder Woman #2 (#802)
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Tom King and Josie Campbell
Art: Daniel Sampere and Vasco Giorgiev
Colors: Tomeu Morey and Alex Guimaraes
Letters: Clayton Cowles and Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Steve Trevor tries to talk Diana into standing down before Sarge Steel launches a U.S. Army attack against her. Plus, a prologue to Amazons Attack redux.
Like Wonder Woman #1, Daniel Sampere’s art is gorgeous. There’s no denying this book looks great. Sampere’s storytelling is excellent as he mirrors two separate stories in this issue. From a technical perspective Wonder Woman #2 is well done for the most part. In the back up story, it’s great to Yara Flor.
Wonder Woman #2 doesn’t move the plot forward. Last issue suffered from a fast forward for the set up of King’s premise, while this issue spends way too much time on Tom King explaining how competent and effective Diana is as a warrior. While it’s great to see that King sees Diana as a powerful and competent character it leaves the issue unbalanced. And while the dual narratives between Diana in the present and the past is well executed artistically, the two battles go on far to long for an outcome the reader can see coming from the second page. The reveal could’ve been presented in a different manner leaving more time for the plot to advance, or even have been utilized for a more effective explanation of how we got to this situation to begin with. Just when did all those Amazons move to America? And why did they leave Paradise?
Overall, the conflict still feels over the top. There are no believable stakes, because there’s no way that the outcome will contain anything permanent or even sustainable for more than a year. This makes everything feel very dull and pointless.
Along these same lines, I have a hard time imagining Steve Trevor actually delivering this speech to Diana. It’s written almost like they are recent acquaintances instead of longtime friends, allies and lovers. He would never doubt what Diana could do. His attitude about it seems off. It’s hard to tell if he’s under the influence of the Lasso of Lies or if this is how he truly feels.
It doesn’t make sense that Steve Trevor would be unaffected by the Lasso of Lies considering what the Sovereign is perpetrating. How would this be possible? Is Steve immune to the Lasso? Wouldn’t other heroes also be immune, and if so wouldn’t they step up and intervene? It’s unclear exactly what’s intended. King could be setting something up, but past experience with King’s work shows that sometimes King just writes characters “off” because it fits his story instead of fitting the character. This is also seen with how Steve is interacting with Steel. He comes off like he’s Sarge Steel’s bitch.
The narration indicates that Diana believes love can turn any conflict around, and yet she doesn’t try anything like that with Steel or his forces. Furthermore, instead of allowing them to attack after telling Steve that the soldiers will get hurt she just waits. A proactive surgical strike against Steel would’ve made more sense to stop an unnecessary action and saved injury and possibly lives. Is Wonder Woman killing here? This is more evidence that King isn’t really interested in the characters, just his story.
In the back up story that serves as a prologue to the forthcoming Amazons Attack, the Oracle of the Esquecida has a vision of the destruction of all the Amazons and she claims that “all three must be united” which seems to suggest all three tribes must be united- didn’t this happen in last years “Trial of the Amazons?” It could be something else, but it’s not clear.
Wonder Woman #2 also seems to place an over emphasis on Diana as a warrior. While Diana is a trained warrior, her mission is not to fight or defend, her mission is to demonstrate a different way of life, a life rooted in a feminine perspective as opposed to the masculine approach that is prevalent in “man’s world.” The focus on Diana’s warrior aspects pull the character from her core.
Diana seems to take a back seat as it’s all seen through the Sovereign’s point of view. Any appeal for this series is like a car crash- you want to see the outcome with the hopes that some people will survive. Nothing really feels new or interesting, and the characters are already twisting into unrecognizable versions. King hasn’t put in the work to get the reader to this point in the story to make it believable.