Since my comic books have piled up after a few weeks, today I turned my attention to catching up on the Justice League and one of its most important members, Wonder Woman. Admittedly, Wonder Woman was never one of my favorites for no other reason than she wasn’t a character I’d gotten around to reading. The New 52 was my entry into her world, Themyscira, and the Amazons of the DC Universe and I’ve never looked back. For three years now I’ve been a devoted reader of Wonder Woman and have excitedly followed her adventures as she’s fallen in love with Superman, battled the First Born, and recently became the God of War. Since Meredith and David Finch began their run of Wonder Woman with issue 36, the character has created a division between long time fans and newcomers. While we at What’cha Reading have had our own debates about Queen Hippolyta’s daughter, there has been an unfortunate casualty. Attention has been focused solely on the Finch’s Wonder Woman title that Sensation Comics has been overlooked far too many times. This won’t happen again.
I’ve enjoyed the Finch’s Wonder Woman run as the art has brought a certain style and appeal that may feel more approachable than Cliff Chiang’s work with Brian Azzarello. I’ve loved Chiang’s work and he is missed, but a generalization of their run has always been that it has felt disconnected from the Wonder Woman seen in the Justice League series. What Meredith and David Finch have brought to the series is a return to a cohesive story that feels at home with the much grander DC Universe (or Multiverse!) If you haven’t been reading their exploration of Wonder Woman and her psychological (and now physical) metamorphosis into the God of War, I recommend giving it a read. We are three issues into their run and with the introduction of Donna Troi, this is one of the New 52 titles that you probably won’t want to miss.
However, if you are a fan of Wonder Woman and the classic appeal of comic books then you really want to start picking up Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman. It’s a digital first series that is then collected into a print issue monthly featuring established and rising talents. Early this morning I caught up on the past two issues, #5 and #6, and was amazed at the work being featured. Sensation Comics is the series for those that have issues with Diana Prince’s characterization within her solo series while it also serves as a fantastic additional title for those that can’t get enough of her!
Sensation Comics issue 5 is one self-contained story that features our hero as she is sent on a clandestine mission to Apokolips. Naturally, Darkseid and his female furies make more than one appearance. The story is the perfect blend of mystery, action, and sensation as Wonder Woman is presented as a daughter, a princess, an emissary, a spy, a sister, and a hero! She’s fantastically written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman who deserve a standing ovation for possibly giving us the best written Wonder Woman issue since Gail Simone departed the series. Bechko and Hardman’s writing is exactly what one would hope and expect from a character representing the best of humanity for 74 years! As Wonder Woman contends with the furies, searches for her sisters, and ultimately inspires Apokolips through her bravery and selfless heroics, one could only hope that Wonder Woman is presented as strong, graceful, and inspiring a way for all those that see her on the big (IMAX) screen. Hardman also serves as the artist for the story “Dig For Fire” and gives the issue a look that is completely its own. Hardman’s work certainly cannot be compared to David Finch’s work or Chiang’s and this is a good thing. After all, the story is set on the world of Apokolips and not in Themyscira.
Next up on my reading list today was the sixth issue of Sensation Comics. The diversity and uniqueness of each issue is beautifully illustrated in this issue which features two stories. The real highlight, “Generations”, is the story of Wonder Woman searching for a special gift for her mother. While she attempts to get the egg from a Phoenix, she contends with her fan-favorite villain Cheetah, The story looks positively cinematic and the coloring makes each panel pop. Penciller Drew Johnson, inker Ray Snyder, and colorist Lizzy John have most certainly exceeded the criteria for working on a DC Comic book. Their collaboration literally shines as Wonder Woman battles Cheetah in the remote Arabian wilderness. The first page alone is reason enough to pick up this issue. But the story isn’t all fighting, invisible jets, and lassos of truth. Michael Jelenic goes on to tell a more poignant story of mothers and daughters. It’s his attention to character which makes Wonder Woman one of the most interesting of Justice League members and an important character for so many. Also, in reading this issue I couldn’t help but speculate the likelihood of Cheetah appearing as the villain in Gal Gadot’s solo Wonder Woman film.
While there are still over 10 comic books for me to catch up on, I’m glad today was spent with catching up on Wonder Woman. When in the hands of gifted writers and artists, she’s the kind of hero that inspires in ways that only the golden age characters could! And when in the hands of writers such as Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman, and Michael Jelenic – we’re reminded that one day our modern age will very well be classics for another generation!
Sensation Comics #5 and #6 get five out of five stars!